New e-POWER: Innovative 100% electric motor drive system sets a new path forward for EVs
EVolution is a monthly newsletter covering advances in EV technology, intelligent transportation systems, and new thinking on the roles of cars in future society.
Centered on Nissan Intelligent Mobility, these reports provide insights into the new era of zero-fatality, zero-emission driving and how next-generation cars will serve as partners to drivers to keep the unique excitement of driving alive.
Q1: How does e-POWER differ from conventional hybrid power units?
e-POWER uses only a high-output battery- never the engine̶ to drive the car’s wheels.
Classified as a Series Hybrid, e-POWER is an innovative drive system for Japan-model com- pact cars featuring a powertrain comprising a gasoline engine, power generator, inverter, and motor. The sole function of the gasoline engine is to generate electricity for the battery. Employing advanced EV technology from Nissan LEAF, the best-selling pure elec- tric car in history, e-POWER offers the same high-output as LEAF.
Q2: How does e-POWER differ from Nissan LEAF?
e-POWER generates electricity by the engine while running.
Just like Nissan LEAF, e-POWER drives the car’s wheels via an electric motor. So the driver enjoys the quietness, powerful torque and other performance characteristics of Nissan LEAF.
Q3: What are the benefits of e-POWER’s motor drive?
From acceleration to braking, e-POWER delivers exquisite response and precise control.
e-POWER produces massive torque almost instantly when the accelera- tor is pressed, delivering immediate power and acceleration to the wheels. The system also employs regenerative braking, which uses the motor to slow down the car. This is an efficient way to control the car’s speed, doubly serving to recharge the battery and reduce wear on the brake pads.
Q4: When does e-POWER employ the engine to charge the battery?
e-POWER is an intelligent system designed to maximize battery-driven operation and minimize fuel consumption.
e-POWER’s engine generates electricity quickly and efficiently, ensuring smooth operation and low fuel consumption. The engine is so quiet its sound is virtually cancelled out by wind and road sounds. Practically speaking, e-POWER cars are as quiet as pure battery-powered EVs.
Q5: What were some of e-POWER’s key development issues?
Task number one was attaining optimal energy management̶ “how to produce the power to drive the car by the car.”
To achieve motor output equal to that of Nissan LEAF, it was necessary to divide power consumption between the engine and battery. A small engine would be insufficient, so we modified a 1.2-liter gasoline engine with an eye toward achieving optimal performance under Japanese driving conditions. Thanks to knowledge acquired from years of experi- ence developing Nissan LEAF, we were successful in designing an optimal energy management system. e-POWER’s battery has just one-twentieth the capacity of LEAF’s, and is integrated with a highly compact powertrain. This intelligent system can be equipped on compact vehicles without compromising interior space.
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