New series hybrid system derived from LEAF EV technology
Nissan Motor Co. Ltd., recently introduced e-POWER, its new drive system which uses the same EV technology applied in the Nissan LEAF.
However, unlike the LEAF, the e-POWER adds a small gasoline engine to use when necessary, eliminating the need for an external charger but still producing the same output.
The e-POWER system, classified as series-hybrid, is equipped with full electric-motor drive which enables the wheels to be completely driven by the electric motor.
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. Also, unlike a full EV, the power source comes from both the engine and battery.
Nissan claims that the e-POWER delivers massive torque almost instantly, resulting to a smooth acceleration. Now since e-POWER relies on the engine much less frequently, its fuel efficiency is comparable to that of leading conventional hybrids.
The manufacturer said that they are also conducting research and development of the SOFC (Solid Oxide Fuel Cell) fuel-cell vehicle, and will continue to introduce innovative new products into various areas in order to promote the worldwide use of electronic vehicles.