Nissan’s bold and innovative e-POWER powertrain will be introduced to the Qashqai range, again breaking the mould in the crossover segment that the Qashqai pioneered.
The new Qashqai will be the first model in Europe to be equipped with Nissan’s unique e‑POWER drive system. Exclusive to Nissan and a key component in the company’s Intelligent Mobility strategy, the e-POWER system is a unique approach to electrification by making every day driving both enjoyable and efficient.
“The introduction of the innovative e-POWER system to the new Qashqai brings more of Nissan’s pioneering spirit to the crossover segment. Customers will love the feeling of driving an EV but without consideration for charging. And e-POWER represents a significant milestone in Nissan’s electrification strategy,” said Guillaume Cartier, Chairperson for Nissan’s AMIEO region.
Nissan’s research has shown that European crossover consumers spend more than 70% of their time driving in urban and suburban environments. The research also shows that consumers feel obliged to compromise on driving pleasure in order to be eco-minded in their choice of vehicle.
To respond to that trend, Nissan developed the e-Power system, specifically tuned for European consumer needs. It offers optimum fuel efficiency without compromising driving pleasure thanks to the combination of two Nissan specialisms: advanced battery and motor technology, plus the innovative variable compression ratio internal combustion engine.
As such e-Power is an ideal technology for those who cannot or do not want to take time to recharge with a cable but face a daily urban or suburban drive, and who are ready to make the first move in their transition to a full EV in the future.
The e-POWER system is comprised of a high-output battery that is complemented by a variable compression ratio 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo-charged petrol engine generating 156hp, a power generator, inverter and 140kW electric motor of similar size and power output as found in Nissan’s electric vehicles. The petrol engine generates electricity, which can be transmitted via the inverter to the battery pack, the electric motor or both, according to the driving scenario.
What sets this powertrain apart is that the electric motor is the sole source of power for the wheels, so its response is instant and linear. This represents an appealing alternative to traditional hybrids where drivers have to accept the inherent shortcomings to the driving experience.
In contrast, the new Qashqai’s e-POWER system was conceived to deliver the pleasurable, effortless and smooth driving experience associated with a pure EV, but without the need to recharge.
The advantage of the e-POWER system is that the engine runs within its optimal range and best compression ratio, leading to superior fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions compared with a traditional internal combustion motor, as well as a refined drive thanks to reduced engine noise. And the additional advantage is the minimal impact e-POWER will have on urban air quality.
Thanks to the pure electric motor drive, there’s no delay in the delivery of torque as can be the case in a traditional hybrid, where there can be a sudden rise in engine speed as it responds to the accelerator demand for immediate acceleration. The instant response of the e-POWER system delivers a unique and exciting driving experience in all driving conditions
To maximise performance, in high acceleration or high speed situations, the energy management control unit within the e-POWER system can send the power generated by the 1.5-litre engine directly to the electric motor, via the inverter, to bolster the electricity supply which is coming from the battery.
Under deceleration and braking, the kinetic energy is recaptured and channelled back to the battery to optimise efficiency.
Similar to the LEAF, the new Qashqai e-POWER benefits from an entirely new ‘one pedal’ driving experience called e-Pedal Step. Designed to take the repetitive strain out of stop-start urban driving, where the driver is frequently moving their foot between the accelerator and brake, e-Pedal Step allows drivers to accelerate and brake using just the accelerator.
The system must first be activated by the switch on the centre console and once engaged, the accelerator will deliver acceleration as usual. Upon release of the accelerator, e-Pedal Step will brake the Qashqai at 0.2g, enough to illuminate the brake lights, and reduce the speed down to a “creeping” speed, not a complete stop. This ensures low-speed parking manoeuvres are as smooth as possible. Drivers will quickly adapt their accelerator pedal inputs to maintain smooth progress, ensuring urban driving is more intuitive and less demanding.