Nissan has launched a new drivetrain in the shape of e-Power, a series hybrid syetem that allows the Japanese firm to manufacturer range-extended electric vehicles.
The e-Power system makes good use of Nissan’s extensive electric vehicle powertrain expertise, and uses an electric motor and battery to power the wheels. However, there is also a compact petrol engine fitted to the car to, which is used as an on-board generator – providing no power to the wheels, but topping up the battery’s charge when it gets low.
The only other model with this set-up available to buy in the UK is BMW’s i3 REX, which has the same basic arrangement. It is a step between PHEV and EV, though where a traditional PHEV is biased towards the petrol or diesel engine with a small electric range, the REX is biased towards being an EV.
Because of the packaging requirements, the e-Power system – fitted to the Nissan Note initially – has a smaller battery than the Nissan Leaf to accommodate the space needed for the petrol engine and fuel tank. There are currently no details available as to battery capacity, electric or combined range, or even electric motor power, but these will become available in due course.
Likewise, there is no information as to when the first e-Power equipped vehicles will be available to buy, or what models it will appear in.
Nissan has previewed this technology in the Gripz concept compact crossover at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show. With the Note a similar size, it is clear that the company is looking at models at the smaller end of its product range to use the e-Power system early on.