Nissan With Range Extender Coming In 2016?

2 years ago by Mark Kane 53

Nissan Gripz concept

Nissan Gripz concept

Nissan Gripz concept

Nissan Gripz concept

Next year, Nissan will present and maybe even introduce a new electrified model equipped with a range-extender into its lineup.

What we know is that it will not be a LEAF, which will stay pure electric, so maybe something based on the Gripz concept?

Motoring.com.au revealed the news after an interview with Yoshi Shimoida, Nissan’s Deputy General Manager, EV and HEV engineering division.

Yoshi Shimoida said that they are calling the drivetrain a series hybrid instead of range-extender, but just like in the case of the BMW i3, Nissan is talking about an engine without connection to the wheels, used just as an on-board generator.

“It’s something like that [range extender]. But we call it a series hybrid,” he said, which is another name given to the range-extending EV technology.”

Separate, unfortunate news for Australians from Motoring.com.au, is that the new 30 kWh LEAF will not be offered in Australia, which we find rather strange; but given the high pricing/limited release (and slow arrival) of the original 24 kWh version of the LEAF down under, it seems Nissan will just go ahead and wait for the next generation LEAF to update the brand in Austrailia.

Source: motoring.com.au, hat tip to Alan h!

Tags: , , , , ,

53 responses to "Nissan With Range Extender Coming In 2016?"

  1. R.S says:

    I have heard that the new Nissan Leaf has some safety function that cuts battery power when its rolled over, so it won’t work in Australia, since it’s always upside down.

    1. Brian says:

      Oh no! That’s terrible news! Rollover safety is very important. I hope Nissan can sort this out so that this new safety feature can help protect Australians as well!

      1. Anthony Castro says:

        … I don’t think you understood the joke

          1. MikeM says:

            Hey you guys. Cut it out.
            I just sprayed tea all over my laptop screen!

        1. ffbj says:

          No, he was feigning concern. And its down-under, not upside down. Though I suppose being on the other side of the globe they are sometimes depicted as being upside down.

  2. mustang_sallad says:

    …cue EV purist freak out.

    1. Anon says:

      Don’t think after VW Group’s DieselGate, the COP21 International Agreement on Carbon Reduction, and revelations that terrorist organizations such as ISIL / Daesh have been selling stolen oil on the (Turkish?) black market FOR YEARS which has ended up in everything from plastics, pharmaceuticals and fuels like Diesel and Gasoline– that Nissan going BACK TO BURNING FOSSIL FUELS MAKES ANY SENSE. Hybrids Suck– hydrocarbons. And they delay advancements in longer range full electric driving, because the ICE is a polluting crutch.

      Thus endith my ‘freakout’.

      *Steps off BEV purist podium*

      1. John says:

        I drive a Volt, and it rarely uses the ice as a polluting crutch. Unfortunately I cannot live in a black and white world. I have family that lives far outside the range of even a Tesla. Some of them have health problems. So renting a car at 3am to haul ass to the hospital just isn’t possible.

        well over 90% of my driving is done on electric.

        If I thought like you, I’d either have an ICED that polluted all the time. Or an EV that could leave me unable to attend to my family.

        I think PHEV’s bridge that gap nicely until battery tech and charging infrastructure catch up.

        So calm down and just be happy that some electric range is better than none at all.
        Besides that, attitudes like yours turn people off of EV’s faster than anything else.

        1. David Murray says:

          +1

        2. RexxSee says:

          15 years ago, there was no need of a bridge.
          The technology is there, we were already on the other side 15 years ago.
          Hybrids are a brake, a delaying ploy, not a bridge. The obvious solution for Mr. Everyday is better ranged BEVS, not PHEVS.
          The oil-car cartel is playing us expertly.

          1. Raymondjram says:

            It may be a solution for you if o travel less than 100 miles, or have over $100,000 to spend on a Model S, but for the general puplic, hybrids are the way to wean out of gasoline, and get clean and quiet electric drive, but have a gas engine that can fill up at any station.

      2. Yup says:

        If your goal is to minimize use of fossil fuels, then EREVs are a better choice than BEVs. BEVs only reduce fossil fuel use when you’re driving them instead of ICEs. When you’re driving your rental Hyundai Sonata (on a long trip) instead, you’re using more fossil fuels than the non-purist in an EREV.

        In short, for all the reasons that you support BEVs, you should probably support EREVs even more so. That said, as soon as affordable BEVs offer what Teslas offer today (with a smidge more charging stations), then I’ll be as happy to dump the range extender as you. Come on Model 3, you can’t come soon enough!

        1. shane says:

          I would also add that “the unwashed masses” – that are often decried here – are far more likely to try a PHEV/EREV than the current crop of ~80 mi affordable BEVs. If you want to get mass adoption – don’t throw good pathways overboard. I see nothing wrong with offering all options and letting people decide what works best for them.

      3. ModernMarvelFan says:

        Apparently that BEV purist forgot that BEV lubricants are still made from oil. So are some of the plastic parts or chemicals used in the bonding.

        Yes, reduction in oil usage is great thing. Extremist view is not.

        1. Raymondjram says:

          Not any more! New synthetics can be made from natural gas. And most of those lubricants are recycled, so the use of oil for lubricants is dropping faster than the rise of hybrids and BEvs.

  3. Sublime says:

    I don’t see the point of a series hybrid, unless the gasoline engine couldn’t power the wheels (like a free piston linear generator). I don’t think the efficiency loss is worth the packaging freedom, but I’m not a car designer.

    1. Speculawyer says:

      Batteries remain expensive and gas is cheap . . . at least for now. So the pure EV path is not so great at the moment. But it would nice to at least get people part-way moved over.

    2. Ambulator says:

      It takes more engineering to make a car like the Volt instead of a series hybrid. That may add too much expense for someone who rarely uses the ICE.

      1. Dan says:

        Why is the Volt cheaper than many of the 80 mile pure BEVs then?

    3. David Murray says:

      One advantage I can see is how the BMW i3 does it.. Because of the design, the car can be sold with or without the range extender.

      1. Raymondjram says:

        BMW i3 owners don’t like what they bought. Some are trading the i3 for a Chevy Volt. Do a test drive of both and you see why the trade-in is a fact.

    4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Sublime said:

      “I don’t see the point of a series hybrid… I don’t think the efficiency loss is worth the packaging freedom, but I’m not a car designer.”

      Actually, in theory, a pure series hybrid should be more efficient than a combined hybrid like the Volt. Decoupling the gas engine from the electric drivetrain allows the engine to be run at its most efficient, unthrottled speed. And in fact, in gas-burning mode, the Volt runs as a series hybrid most of the time. Even in gas-burning mode, it only directly engages the engine into the drivetrain when there is a high demand for power, such as accelerating above (IIRC) 35 MPH, and hill-climbing.

      However, in practice, the Volt is the only PHEV which works equally well in either EV mode or gasmobile mode. As they say: “In theory, there’s no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.”

      It will be interesting to see if any EV maker makes a mass produced pure serial hybrid which functions as well as the Volt. Apparently it’s not as easy as it looks on paper.

      It’s not appropriate to compare with the BMW i3 REx, because that has a wholly inadequate two-cylinder scooter/motorcycle engine. No matter how the drivetrain is engineered, that engine is simply not powerful enough to propel a car uphill at highway speed. According to one report, the i3 REx’s speed in gas-burning mode can fall to as low as 25 MPH when mountain climbing. The amazing thing is that in gas-burning mode, the i3 REx can actually maintain highway speed on flat ground.

      1. ModernMarvelFan says:

        PuPu wrote:

        “Actually, in theory, a pure series hybrid should be more efficient than a combined hybrid like the Volt. Decoupling the gas engine from the electric drivetrain allows the engine to be run at its most efficient, unthrottled speed. And in fact, in gas-burning mode, the Volt runs as a series hybrid most of the time. Even in gas-burning mode, it only directly engages the engine into the drivetrain when there is a high demand for power, such as accelerating above (IIRC) 35 MPH, and hill-climbing.”

        Actually, you have mistaken in many of the details here.

        “”Actually, in theory, a pure series hybrid should be more efficient than a combined hybrid like the Volt.”

        Incorrect. In theory, a pure series hybrid will always be less efficient than a parallel hybrid which is effectively what Voltec 2.0 is. Series hybrids’s loss is always going to be greater than parallel due to the fact that generator to battery to motor then to wheel will always have higher loss than engine to wheel directly.

        “Decoupling the gas engine from the electric drivetrain allows the engine to be run at its most efficient, unthrottled speed. ”

        Voltec 2.0 and Voltec 1.0 can do that by using a 2nd motor to modulate the load and speed of the engine for max efficiency for a given load without the extra path loss in series ONLY configuration.

        “And in fact, in gas-burning mode, the Volt runs as a series hybrid most of the time.
        Even in gas-burning mode, it only directly engages the engine into the drivetrain when there is a high demand for power, such as accelerating above (IIRC) 35 MPH, and hill-climbing.”

        That is incorrect, actually exact opposite in Voltec 1.0.

        Voltec 1.0 operates in a parallel mode or splitt mode at higher speed and low loading. When the load is increased, it actually switches to series-mode for the fact that max torque/power is provided by the main traction motor.

        Voltec 2.0 no longer has the series mode.

        1. Priusmaniac says:

          ModernMarvelFan wrote: “In theory, a pure series hybrid will always be less efficient than a parallel hybrid”

          Actually that was the case up to the moment direct free piston generators came along. Toyota has made one that is giving better overall yield that the direct transmission. The thing people don’t realize is that a direct free piston generator doesn’t have all the losses associated with a crank and shaft system which generates a lot of losses to the dynamic movement of lubrication oil and losses to lateral friction forces on the sidewalls of the pistons. Add to that the losses in the gears of the speed box and the end result is that it becomes worse than an DFPE energy output used in a motor.

    5. ModernMarvelFan says:

      You are absolutely right that there are no need for series hybrid design unless they intent to have a BEV version like BMW i3.

      Also, a series-hybrid design is simpler and potentially cheaper but less efficient.

      They can also do a “thru the road” AWD hybrid so that engine would power 1 axle and supply electricity to the other axle.

    6. Spider-Dan says:

      Agreed. GM tried to make the Volt a series hybrid (well, as much as possible) in Gen1, but realized that making it a parallel hybrid is simply more efficient and ditched serial for Gen2.

      Ultimately, you can have your ideological purity, or you can have increased fuel efficiency. I’m glad GM chose the latter.

  4. Speculawyer says:

    Nissan having some Volt envy?

    Having enough batteries for long range is still expensive and I suspect will remain so for at least 3 to 4 years. So the only way to electrify larger cars is to go PHEV.

    And for the Zillionth time, PUT THAT VOLTEC DRIVETRAIN IN MORE BODY STYLES GM!

    1. Josh says:

      Nope. They are gunning for Mitsubishi, but will end up beating GM to the plug-in SUV market.

      I am going to say this will be a 30 kWh SUV with a range extender, priced at about $45k.

      1. Speculawyer says:

        If done well, that would be a huge seller.

      2. EV AZ says:

        It is about time!

        I have often posted on insideevs.com that they should make a Plug in hybrid Rouge. It would be a HUGE hit and agreed will be the only competitor with the PHEV Outlander (Price range)

        RAV4 EV
        5KW PV
        NPNS

  5. Kevin Z says:

    Possible “free” heat in the winter when using the gas engine.

  6. Lou Grinzo says:

    This makes perfect sense.

    Batteries have dropped dramatically in price in recent years, and that decline will continue. But they’re still not cheap enough to let car companies sell a mass market, $30k Tesla clone, nor will they in the next few years.

    So it’s perfectly rational for Nissan to market a series hybrid, which they can then kill after 5 years if everything goes as well as we all hope re:batteries.

    My guess is that it won’t be a new model, but a sub-model of the Maxima, perhaps. If they were thinking along these lines, then surely they would have made allowances for this variant in the recent redesign of the Maxima. I wonder if we have anyone here who might know how to find out…?

    1. Josh says:

      I don’t agree. This will be an SUV to compete with the Outlander PHEV.

  7. SparkEV says:

    If they have trailer with generator that can charge BEV, that’ll be better than series hybrid. You only carry the “generator” part for rare times you need it instead of paying for/carrying all that weight and maintenance with you.

    If you often need range extension and cannot DCFC, you might as well get a gas car.

    1. Sublime says:

      The New Nissan X, some assembly required.

    2. sven says:

      Trailers increase (sometime double) the tolls paid for using bridges and highways, and are limited to a 55mph speed limit on some highways. You must also pay annual registration fees, but you can register it for only part of the year.

    3. Leeper says:

      I’ve that a good idea for bev would be a generator trailer. Instead of buying and maintaining for a long trip, just have them at a car rental place similar to a uhaul car hauler trailer.

    4. David Murray says:

      How many people would seriously like to haul a trailer behind them when they go on a trip? What an irritating to deal with, especially when parking somewhere.

    5. Carsten says:

      Not half bad for a trailer:
      http://www.eptender.com/

    6. Priusmaniac says:

      That becomes irrelevant and the generator is direct free piston generator with the small size of a shoebox.

      1. Priusmaniac says:

        Correction to:

        That becomes irrelevant when the generator is a direct free piston generator with the small size of a shoebox.

  8. Ian says:

    I wish my Xterra was BEV REX.

  9. Alan says:

    I also believe it will be some kind of crossover or SUV to compete with the Outlander PHEV,

    This should also help with the transitional period between the 30kWh Leaf & the 2nd generation 60kWh leaf for Nissan when the likes of GM & Tesla release their prospective 200 mile EV’s.

    1. Speculawyer says:

      If Tesla, Mitsubishi, AND Nissan all beat GM to market with with a plug-in SUV then GM has really failed. Especially since they actually had a Saturn plug-in SUV ready to go 5 years ago. But I guess they didn’t want to sacrifice gas SUV profits.

      1. ModernMarvelFan says:

        Volvo XC90 PHEV already beat GM to it.

        GM is selling a lot of Equinox without it. So GM is going to wait until it has to before it will do it.

        Afterall, Mitsubishi has been doing a lot of talking without any actions for the US market…

        I so hope that I am wrong and GM would surprise us with an Equinox PHEV next year.

  10. ModernMarvelFan says:

    If this PHEV SUV is a good size with good price and 30ish or higher AER, you might find me upgrading my Volt to it in a heartbeat.

    1. Josh says:

      Nissan as a company tries very hard to limit the drivetrain options across their vehicle lineup. Everything gets the 2.5 L i4 or 3.5 L v6 on the ICE side.

      I see their EV side being no different. The original Infiniti LE concept was the 24 kWh LEAF battery with two 80 kW LEAF motors. So no new part numbers on the main components, driving down costs with volume.

      I see the same thing happening with a plug-in SUV. Nissan has already spent significant resources building up 24 kWh/ 30 kWh battery production and driven down the cost. Why not slap that battery into and SUV and add the 2.5 liter 4 cylinder as a range extender? That would be 135 kW supplemental power. Combined with the battery, enough to power two 80 kW LEAF motors for AWD.

      You are probably looking at 50 – 80 miles AER with 200 – 300 miles on the gas extender. Nissan doesn’t need the ZEV credits so no pint-size gas tank.

      Purely my speculation, but it seems like the best fit for their current technology. If they can price that system below $50k, it will be a hot commodity.

      1. Josh says:

        Or maybe I am totally wrong and this is what they plan to use…http://www.wired.com/2014/01/nissan-3-cylinder-le-mans/

      2. ModernMarvelFan says:

        With the REx, there is very little reason to choose the 30kWh version over the 24kWh version of the battery.

        Assume it only use 80% of it for longivity and small buffer for towing/hills, then 19kWh of usable range with potentially 4-5kWh of buffer for mountain mode. With the higher weight than the LEAF and worse Cd, I would bet that it won’t do better than 2.8 miles/kWh which will only give it about 53 miles AER at most. If I have to guess out of thin air, I would say it is around 45 miles.

        Of course, this also depends on what they do with the battery. The current air cool design might not be sufficient for the higher discharging rating of the smaller battery and higher power rating. So, liquid cooling would be the biggest question which will also add significant weight. That will potentially lower the efficiency further. But I don’t think it will have less than 40 miles of range minimum regardless. That is still plenty for most people as Gen I Volt has proven. But with a much larger and more usable car, it will be a huge success.

        So, we shall see.

        1. Josh says:

          I wasn’t clear on the battery size. You are right that having an option wouldn’t make much sense.

          I was intending to mean one of those two sizes, whatever makes sense based on cost, production, performance for the system.

          I would guess would be 30 kWh for this system and 60 kWh for the new BEV system. Being able to share much of the BMS hardware between the two.

          1. Josh says:

            Sorry, quick reading on my phone. I see you points on 24 kWh, AER would be sufficient. I think the other specs would drive the 30 kWh choice more, like charging/discharging stress and cycle life.

            I doubt there is very little cost difference between the 24 kWh and 30 kWh once they reach a high level of production on it. We know it is volumetrically the same and roughly the same mass.

            Extra AER is just a side benefit of the higher Capacity (C) on the larger pack.