Nissan has introduced a new electric-motor driven powertrain called e-POWER. The automaker claims that this introduction marks an important milestone for its future plans towards electric mobility. It marks the first time that e-POWER technology is available for consumers.
e-POWER borrows from the EV technology perfected in the Nissan LEAF, the best-selling pure electric car in history, with more than 250,000 units sold. Unlike the LEAF, e-POWER adds a small gasoline engine to charge the high-output battery when necessary, eliminating the need for an external charger while offering the same high-output. The e-POWER works as a series hybrid. The engine is not directly linked to the wheels, and hence cannot drive the car on its own. It is however mated to a generator, which is capable of charging the batteries that in turn power the electric motor to drive the wheels. Nissan insists that the new powertrain isn’t a 100% electric vehicle, as the primary source of energy is a gasoline engine, not a battery pack.
e-POWER delivers massive torque almost instantly, which enhances drive response and results in smooth acceleration. Also, the system operates very quietly, much like a full EV. Because e-POWER relies on the engine much less frequently, its fuel efficiency is comparable to that of leading conventional hybrids, especially during around-the-town commutes. It also eliminates the need to worry about EV range and charging locations, thanks to the on-board gasoline engine.