Although the Note e-Power is for the Japanese market only – Nissan will discontinue the Note once the new Micra goes on sale next spring – the tech could make it into a number of upcoming models from Nissan.
Nissan’s e-Power system couples a small petrol engine to the electric powertrain developed in the Leaf to create the brand’s first range-extended electric vehicle. The car has been developed for the Japanese market using research and data collected in Japan. Nissan said the system is aimed predominantly at urban markets.
A Nissan spokesman couldn’t reveal whether the powertrain will be used on other models but did confirm that the system can be adapted to fit into cars occupying different segments from the Note's. This implies the system could appear in any of Nissan’s upcoming cars. The system which features in the Note e-Power eschews a traditional charger though, and runs only on electricity generated by the small petrol motor.
As a result, range-extended electric versions of the next Juke, Leaf, Qashqai and Micra are all possibilities. “We’re not ruling anything out,” said the Nissan spokesman. A range-extender system is typically better suited to smaller vehicles, so it’s likely that this is where it will be used in the Nissan range.
Nissan is also pursuing other alternative fuel sources and powertrains and is continuing to develop its ‘solid oxide fuel cell’, which is powered by electricity generated from reacting bioethanol and air electrochemically.