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Tokyo show: Note E-Power on cards for Australia

Read the notes: The Nissan Note E-Power uses a petrol generator engine to keep the battery topped up.

Note E-Power set to boost Nissan Australia’s electrified model offerings

Nissan logo30 Oct 2017

By TIM NICHOLSON

NISSAN’S E-Power range-extending hybrid powertrain technology is under serious consideration for the Australian market, and the Note hatchback is likely to be the first cab off the rank Down Under.

When it was initially launched late last year, the Note E-Power was set to only be offered in Japan, but Nissan Motor Company executive vice-president for global marketing and sales, zero-emission vehicles and the battery business, Daniele Schillaci, has now confirmed that E-Power tech will be slowly rolled out to other markets.

“Of course, we have to proceed step-by-step,” he told journalists at the Tokyo motor show last week. “What I can tell you is countries we are doing tests in is India, Indonesia and Thailand. Latin America we have a lot of requests. The direction is very clear so we are increasing the number of tests and then step-by-step this technology will roll out overseas.”

Nissan Australia general manager of corporate communications Karla Leach said the petrol-electric E-Power tech would be a good fit for Australian consumers and also forms part of the company’s global EV strategy.

“We are very keen to bring E-Power to Australia as soon as possible,” she said.

“Why? Because the core of our global strategy is to offer more electric vehicles, as well as being a charge-free EV that we know Australians would embrace.

“We are working with our global colleagues to confirm future product that best meets the needs of Australian consumers – and that plan includes E-Power.”

GoAuto understands that the Note E-Power tallboy hatchback is all but confirmed for the Australian market, but will not arrive until a planned midlife facelift in late 2018 or 2019.

As GoAuto has reported, former Nissan Australia managing director and CEO Richard Emery previously said the company was considering the Note, as well as a number of other global Nissan models, to fill gaps in its line-up after discontinuing the Micra, Pulsar and Altima.

The Note would go head-to-head with mainstream light and small hatch offerings, as well as hybrid hatchbacks such as the Toyota Prius and Prius C, and would complement Nissan’s Leaf EV which arrives late next year.

The E-Power system is essentially a hybrid that uses an electric motor to drive the wheels, in a similar way to the Chevrolet/Holden Volt, but it is not a plug-in hybrid so has no charging socket and relies entirely on a small petrol engine and regenerative braking to keep its battery pack topped up.

The 1.2-litre three-cylinder Miller-cycle petrol engine is found in the regular Note, and produces 58kW/103Nm. The electric motor produces 80kW of peak power and 254Nm of torque.

According to Nissan, if the driver keeps the petrol engine in its efficiency sweet spot of 2000-2500rpm, the Note E-Power can return fuel consumption of between 2.7L/100km and 2.9L/100km on the Japanese JC08 cycle.

The regenerative braking system produces strong enough deceleration when lifting off the accelerator that brake pedal use can be reduced by up to 70 per cent in urban driving compared with a purely petrol-powered car.

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