Nissan has just taken the covers off a new petrol/electric hybrid system that takes the idea of battery-fed electric propulsion in a new direction for Japanese company. Known as e-Power, the system has debuted in a Japanese-market version of the five-door Note compact hatch.
The Nissan e-Power drivetrain combines a high-output battery to power the wheels, with small gasoline engine that recharges it when necessary.
The system helps to just eliminate the need to recharge and plug in when you get home and are out on the road as instead you will be able to fill up at a fuel station to power the regular engine.
Its biggest point of difference from traditional petrol/electric hybrid (known as a series hybrid) like Toyota’s Prius, for example, is the fact that its petrol engine is not actually connected to the car’s driving wheels.
Interestingly, Nissan claims that it has cracked the code’ and rectified packaging issues inherent with such a complex drivetrain. Details are scarce, but company promises that the e-POWER uses a smaller battery than the 170km range Leaf EV, but goes as well.
Because it’s just the electric motor that drives the wheels, power is delivered instantly and gives out zero emissions. And as engine is only occasionally used to recharge battery, it can match conventional hybrid cars when it comes to fuel efficiency.
Nissan says the e-Power technology aims to provide customers with a ‘gateway to 100% electric cars. This brand is one of the few in the world with a consumer-ready 100% electric passenger vehicle on its books in the Leaf, that has sold in relatively small numbers worldwide since its launch in 2010.
Nissan has said that the new e-Power drivetrain system will be used in the upcoming Note car, which will make it the ‘first mass-produced compact segment car ever to be equipped with a series hybrid system’.