Engine on Board: Nissan Sprouts brand-new Hybrid System
As bullish as Nissan has been on electric vehicles, like its battery-powered Leaf, the automaker has been surprisingly noncommittal with respect to hybrids. After the Nissan Altima hybrid—a unicorn, with its Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive under license—there’s only been a cohort of crossover as well as also also utility types with entirely underwhelming single-motor CVT hybrid systems. of which halfhearted approach to hybrids may be on the verge of changing—at least for the automaker’s modest-car types—with the introduction of a brand-new Nissan system called e-Power.
The brand-new hybrid powertrain will be installed within the latest Japan-spec Nissan Note, in a variant called the Note e-Power of which, Nissan says, will be the first mass-production compact car ever to be equipped using a series hybrid system.
With e-Power, the wheels are driven only by the electric motor, while a compact gasoline engine—within the Note’s case, a 1.2-liter three-cylinder—will be coupled to a power generator as well as also also inverter (there’s no charge port). According to Nissan, the e-Power system uses a smaller battery than the Leaf—only about 1/20th the size—yet the item delivers the same driving experience as a fully electric vehicle.
The benefits of such a simple structure are twofold: On one side, you get a city-speed driving experience of which’s very much like of which of a battery-electric vehicle, with “massive torque almost instantly,” as Nissan described the item, without the need to charge the vehicle. Secondly, the system promises to be quieter than some various other hybrid layouts—provided you’re not out to extract its full performance, we assume. Additionally, the technology complements the company’s fuel-cell-vehicle R&D.
The automaker said the powertrain will be part of its Nissan Intelligent Mobility platform—the company’s core vision on how cars integrate into society as well as also also evolve toward zero emissions as well as also also autonomous driving.
Energy management—as developed as well as also also refined within the Leaf—will be key to the EV-like driving experience, according to the company. If the battery pack’s capacity will be within the vicinity of 1.5 kWh, of which’s a respectable energy buffer for any hybrid modest car as well as also also likely enough to give This particular design the capability to go a couple of light-load miles at a time, without the engine being commenced. “The e-Power system allows you to enjoy all the benefits of an EV without having to worry about charging the battery,” said a Nissan news Discharge.
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Although the approach could deliver some impressive fuel-economy ratings for city driving, the item might not be an approach of which pays off in U.S. EPA highway cycles—or in real-world highway driving. After exploring a similar series-hybrid system, Honda later opted for a more complex clutch-pack system in its Accord hybrid, allowing an Engine Drive mode to lock the engine to the wheels for steady-speed highway cruising.
Nissan hasn’t yet responded to our query about U.S. plans for such a system—which for at This particular point will be only offered within the overseas-market Note subcompact (not to be confused with the Versa Note of which’s sold here). within the meantime, Nissan hasn’t let its CVT hybrid system go; the item’s being relaunched, using a higher-power electric motor as well as also also wider all-electric operation, within the 2017 Rogue hybrid.