The new e-Power system developed by the Japanese automaker aims to alleviate range anxiety concerns for Nissan clients, mating a gas generator to the battery assembly for a range extending powertrain.
Nissan is already commanding the top share of the electric market because the best-selling EV in the world is the Leaf, with more than a quarter million sales achieved since its launch back in 2010. The car’s range has significantly improved along the way, but it’s still the single largest issue for customers, so Nissan has cooked up a BMW i3-style solution to the problem. The e-Power system is a range-extender, essentially similar with the ones deployed inside the BMW i3 and the Chevrolet Volt. It has a very small gasoline engine that acts as a generator when the batteries get depleted and there’s no outlet available.
Nissan claims the system was until now too large to fit inside a compact car, but they since reduced weight, developed more responsive motor controls, and optimized energy management. Thus the e-Power system gets a smaller battery than the regular Leaf but comes with a similar driving experience. The Nissan Note – Versa Note in the United States – will be the first to deploy the e-Power drivetrain, meaning it’s the first sequential hybrid car in the subcompact segment, according to Nissan.