Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. has unveiled its new hybrid-electric drive system, called e-POWER. According to the company, this marks the first time that e-POWER technology is available for consumers – a significant milestone in the electrification strategy under Nissan Intelligent Mobility.
As reported, e-POWER is based on the electric vehicle (EV) technology in the Nissan LEAF but adds a small gasoline engine to charge the high-output battery when necessary – eliminating the need for an external charger, while also offering the same high-output.
In conventional hybrid systems, a low-output electric motor is mated to a gasoline engine to drive the wheels when the battery is low (or when traveling at high speeds). However, in the e-POWER system, the gasoline engine is not connected to the wheels; it simply charges the battery. Further, unlike a full EV, the power source originates from the engine and not just the battery.
Nissan says that although e-POWER uses a much smaller battery than the LEAF (1.5 kWh vs. 30 kWh), the technology delivers an equivalent EV driving experience.
In addition to developing electric-powered powertrains that use various fuels, the company says it is also conducting research on and development of the solid oxide fuel cell vehicle.
Graphic courtesy of Nissan.