Nissan has revealed it is considering offering the new Note e-Power in Australia.
E-Power is the Japanese brand’s new technology that uses a petrol engine to charge a small battery that in turn powers the electric motor which drives the wheels. Unlike a traditional hybrid the batteries are too small to retain significant charge so the petrol engine is always working. Nissan claims this allows the petrol engine to run at its optimal revs which means it runs up to 1.6 times more efficiently than a conventional internal combustion engine.
E-Power has proven successful in the Japanese market where it launched in the Note small car in late 2016 and has been one of the top-selling models for the brand since. The experience has encouraged Nissan to roll-out the technology around the world.
Which means the Note, which fits between the Micra and Pulsar in the brand’s line-up, is under consideration for the local market.
“E-Power is an exciting full electric motor drive – that we are keen to see introduced into Australia as soon as possible,” said Nissan Australia spokeswoman, Karla Leach.
“We believe this technology would be embraced locally, and are currently working with our global colleagues to confirm a strong future product plan that includes e-Power vehicles.”
Nissan believes the technology is an ideal stepping stone towards the wider acceptance of full electric vehicles because it offers the performance of an electric motor but can still be fueled like a traditional petrol car.
The addition of the Note e-Power to the Australian range is likely to come in 2019, when a mid-life update should allow Nissan to accommodate a number of changes required to the car to make it suitable for the local market.
Its arrival would also help bolster Nissan Australia's passenger car ranks, which have been culled to just the 370Z and GT-R sports cars. The new-generation Leaf will arrive in late 2018 and is the only confirmed new passenger car.
Nissan globally has confirmed it will launch 14 new models by 2022 as part of the new Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance plan revealed earlier in 2017. Part of that will include a strong commitment to both EV and e-Power.
The IMx concept at the 2017 Tokyo motor show previewed the brand’s new EV platform that will form the basis for the next wave of electric cars and SUVs.