Automotive

Nissan Note to debut e-Power hybrid drivetrain

Nissan Note to debut e-Power h...
Nissan has released its first range-extender powertrain for consumers
Nissan has released its first range-extender powertrain for consumers
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The e-Power drivetrain will debut in a variant of the Nissan Note
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The e-Power drivetrain will debut in a variant of the Nissan Note
This complex assembly sits under the hood in the e-Power Nissan Note
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This complex assembly sits under the hood in the e-Power Nissan Note
The petrol engine in the e-Power drivetrain acts as a generator for the battery
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The petrol engine in the e-Power drivetrain acts as a generator for the battery
The e-Power drivetrain, with the battery sitting at the back 
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The e-Power drivetrain, with the battery sitting at the back 
A look at how the e-Power drivetrain is integrated into the Nissan Note's body
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A look at how the e-Power drivetrain is integrated into the Nissan Note's body
Nissan has released its first range-extender powertrain for consumers
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Nissan has released its first range-extender powertrain for consumers

Nissan has been one of the biggest proponents of electric power in the automotive world, but it's never offered a range-extender powertrain to regular consumers. That's set to change with the launch of the new e-Power electric-motor drivetrain, which uses a small petrol engine to charge the battery when range is low.

Although it has been a staunch supporter of pure battery-powered cars, it makes sense for Nissan to offer a range-extender hybrid alongside the all-electric Leaf. Electric cars make a lot more everyday sense than they did three, or even two years ago, thanks to the extra range offered by improvements in battery technology. But a lack of charging infrastructure and range anxiety are still roadblocks to wider adoption, because people are so used to the pattern of driving, filling up with gas and driving on again.

Range extenders, like those used in BMW's i3 and the Hyundai Ioniq, meld the best of internal-combustion and battery-powered worlds. The wheels are powered by an electric motor, so drivers are treated to the silken acceleration and instant torque of a pure electric car. But, when the battery levels are low, there's no need to plug in and wait for hours. Instead, the petrol engine kicks in and acts as a generator, charging the battery as you drive.

A look at how the e-Power drivetrain is integrated into the Nissan Note's body
A look at how the e-Power drivetrain is integrated into the Nissan Note's body

According to Nissan, its new e-Power drivetrain is the most sophisticated example of the series-hybrid breed. The company has worked to make all the components smaller and lighter, and uses a more responsive motor controller for better efficiency. Although no specifics about battery capacity have been provided, we do know the lithium-ion unit in the e-Power drivetrain is smaller than the battery in the Leaf EV.

The new drivetrain will make its debut in the Note e-Power, which will be the first mass-production compact hatchback fitted with this kind of hybrid powertrain. To make the hardware fit into such a small body, Nissan has placed the battery under the front seats, while the petrol generator and electric motor share space under the hood.

Source: Nissan

9 comments
Peter Kelly
My issue with these is one regarding the contradiction of destroying the benefits of pure EV just to address an attitude of mind, rather than a reality. Indeed, you carry around extra weight just to provide range, which is adversely affected by that weight! You also introduce all the maintenance issues and emission checking that you shouldn't have with an EV. I don't think EV is an ideal power for everyone, but these range extenders are only for those who haven't got the wit to accurately assess their own driving needs
tyme2par4
@Peter Kelly I agree in terms of this car and the i3, however, I would classify the Volt differently. I much prefer the EREV design of the Volt than the mini range extenders. For the suburbanite who makes long trips a few times a year, the Volt works great. I'm not limited on speed when I run out of battery, and I can just stop every 300 miles and put in more gas.
Bob Flint
"Note" the name rings of trouble of late with battery's.....
Mzungu_Mkubwa
Instead of piston I/C, they should have gone micro-turbine. :-/
Dziks
I'd like to see a range extender that can be rented and plugged to any car. If not hidden in the trunk then attached to the hook. Battery range of 200km is enough for me if only I could take an EV for longer trips few times a year. How about that?
RamonZarat
Hybrids: Jack of all trades, master of none, weak at gas, weak at electric, twice the complexity for little to no gain, therefor expensive to maintain and you STILL pollute! The future is 100% electric, period.
Rino Torino
In the video they say that batteries are 1/20th of the standard Leaf EV, so the range of this new car on 100% electric will only be about 1/20th of the Leaf EV???? That means about 20 miles...!
RussellD
This is not significantly different from a design published by Mother Earth News in 1979, where a 57kw jet starter motor replaced a conventional gas motor in an Opel GT. http://www.motherearthnews.com/green-transportation/electric-car-conversion-zmaz79jazraw It makes sense as an interim move to have a small gas auxiliary charger for long trips in an otherwise pure electric.
Rkt9
" But a lack of charging infrastructure and range anxiety are still roadblocks to wider adoption,..." These are not the road blocks, it is sticker price.