During the energy crisis in the 1970s, the industry concentrated on aerodynamics and alternative sources of energy to cut petrol consumption: Pininfarina responded by developing the CNR Energetica 1 prototype, an ideal aerodynamic body shape. The Ecos, the first electric car developed by Pininfarina, which led the field by analysing an issue that the motor industry has only recently begun to study. In the 1980s, Pininfarina research into the application of light materials resulted in the development of the Audi Quartz and Lancia Hit prototypes, which explored the use of new, lighter materials. The 1990s witnessed heightened awareness of environmental problems, more research in the field of recyclable materials, and a more efficient concept of “packaging”. Pininfarina offered new solutions with the Ethos macro-project, 3 cars with an aluminium chassis, recyclable resin bodywork, and an innovative low emissions combustion engine; and in 1995, it presented the Ethos 3EV, another zero emissions vehicle. More recently Pininfarina has focused its research on hybrid vehicles with the Eta Beta and Metrocubo projects, two small cars with modular passenger compartments that address the problems of driving in town and on medium hauls. With the 2004 Nido, Pininfarina returned to the issue of safety.
Today, faced with a new global crisis, and the need to curb emissions and consumption, the opportunities offered by zero emissions urban mobility have grown significantly: the world is increasingly aware of the environment and Pininfarina was the first industrial concern in Italy and one of the first in Europe to propose a 100% electric concept car, the BlueCar, developed jointly with the Bolloré company. Now that all the large carmakers are viewing the electric car as an opportunity, Pininfarina takes another step forward, promoting a philosophy that incorporates the choice of individual and collective electric transport in the context of a new lifestyle that everyone should adopt to encourage energy saving and to protect the planet. This is why sustainable mobility has become one of the pillars underpinning the group’s activities. And it is also why it is now launching the new Nido EV project in parallel with the Blue Car.