Nissan SA is testing a Note E-Power, which Motor News drove near the company’s plant in Rosslyn, Pretoria.
The Note is a small hatchback which is popular in many of Nissan’s markets around the world but is not sold in SA. Before Nissan fans get excited, no, it’s not coming here, but its E-Power technology is.
The Note E-Power is the top-selling model in its segment in Japan and it uses the first generation all-electric Leaf electric motor which generates 80kW and 250Nm of torque. It is mated to a previous generation Micra 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine.
This engine operates as an electrical generator in the same way as in the BMW i3 range extender or the international Chevrolet Volt. It has a claimed electric-only range of 50km but with the generator Nissan says it will cover 600km on the open road and 1,000km of city driving.
So why is Nissan SA testing it? While the Note E-Power is not planned for our shores, the company will introduce the E-Power technology in 2020. Initially it will come in the new X-Trail SUV but is likely to also be used in other models.
Not surprisingly, our brief drive in the Note revealed a drivetrain that felt much like that in the Leaf, at least until we put foot a little and that three-cylinder thrummed into life to give more impetus.
With the second-generation Leaf delayed in SA but still on the way, Nissan SA appears to be seeking wider solutions in line with the rest of the world. – BD Motor News