After Beating The Prius In Japan, Nissan’s e-Power Hybrids May Go Global

Nissan is seriously considering of offering the -virtually unknown outside Japan- extended-range hybrid system overseas, bringing the heat to established players, just as it does to its home market.

When the company launched the e-Power powertrain option for the Note hatchback (known as the Versa Note in the U.S.) in November in Japan, no one expected it to be such a sales hit.

The addition of the hybrid option propelled the Note to the top of Japan’s sales chart in January, beating along the Toyota Prius, which is considered to be the golden standard of Japanese hybrids.

“It is a technology that clearly can fit outside Japan in all the key markets,” said Daniele Schillaci, Nissan’s executive vice president in charge of global marketing and sales to AutoNews. “We are thinking about moving forward faster on electrification, not only in pure EVs, but also in this e-Power technology.”

Nissan’s system works in a similar way with that in the Chevrolet Volt. A 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine acts as an electricity generator that charges a lithium-ion battery pack, which in turn feeds an electric motor powering the wheels.

Unlike the Volt though, Nissan’s e-Power system cannot be charged with a plug. Nissan’s e-Power system keeps the petrol engine working continuously at its sweet spot, instead of revving up and down.

The Nissan Note e-Power returns 32.7km/lt (77mpg in our money), which is just shy of the Prius Plug-In Hybrid’s 87.5mpg, when measured by the same (Japan) standard.

There are no details about when Nissan is going to introduce the technology on overseas markets, but expect to hear more about it in the coming months.


  • Deckard_Cain

    Shame they don’t offer it as a plug-in. But yes, this makes a lot of sense in Europe as a replacement to diesels. FCA will also introduce mild hybrids which will probably work similarly.

    • This is more than a mild hybrid. Mild hybrids are assist systems, this is not assisting anything, it is range extender, which is similar to a full hybrid, it is run or power by a battery pack, by a electric motor, power by a battery, when it deplete the engine comes on and only rotate at 2500 RPM, recharge the battery and power the motor via a generator, when the battery is charge the engine switch off and the motor pull power from the battery and the process repeat again. This is more in coming with a prius hybrid.Think of a prius which does not have the engine turning the wheels.


  • Erocker

    The comparison to the Volt seems out of place. The e-power Note has an electric engine as the only way to provided the power to the wheels. The volt has a transmission that allows the motor and engine to share the work or just use the battery to power the motor very different then the e-power system which never has the engine directly pushing the car along with a geared transmission. The closest car like the e-power Note is the Mitsubishi Outlander phev which has two motors powering the wheel. The electrical power is provided by the battery or engine driving a generator. The Outlander PHEV has no transmission used to supply power directly to the wheels from the engine, however a direct connection to the engine is provided at high speeds.

    • Also the stated MPG on the Nissan website it is 37.2 KM/l which is 87 MPG for the s model, and not 32.7 KM/L which is quoted here, the medalist and the x models get 34KM/L. I first saw that error on Automotive news, I guess nobody fact check anything again, they just summarizes what somebody else wrote.

      • Erocker

        They need to correct that mistake right away if they want to be considered credible.

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