Nissan Gripz concept

Nissan Gripz concept

Nissan first revealed its range-extending technology last year at the Frankfurt Motor Show with its Gripz concept.

Now, Nissan says that this technology will debut in a plug-in electric vehicle that will launch in Japan by the end of March 2017.

Nissan has not announced which vehicle will get the range-extender, but CEO Ghosn did say it will make its debut in a "new compact car," which would seem to rule out the LEAF.

Some background on Gripz and the range-extender:

“The Nissan Gripz Concept is equipped with an EV technology based Series hybrid system; ‘Pure Drive e-Power’. As a result the Nissan Gripz Concept delivers a smooth, refined and exhilarating driving experience with outstanding fuel efficiency. An efficient petrol engine is used to power the electric motor found in the Nissan Leaf. This configuration generates outputs of 80kW and 254Nm.

The powertrain combines Nissan’s various control technologies from its years of experience in developing EVs. This configuration delivers greatly combines smooth, swift and linear acceleration in near-silence, with extreme efficiency.”

It's not yet clear if Nissan will make the range-extender available outside of Japan, but given past trends, one could theorize it could show up as a 2018 model in the Fall of 2017 for the US and Europe.

Nissan Gripz Concept

Nissan Gripz Concept

Automotive News adds:

"Ghosn outlined the technology at the company's annual shareholders' meeting on June 22."

"The new hybrid system, dubbed e-Power, debuted as a concept in the sporty Gripz compact crossover shown last fall at the Frankfurt auto show."

"Using a system similar to that in the Leaf's primary U.S. competitor, the gasoline-electric Chevrolet Volt, Nissan's e-Power will use a small engine to generate electricity that charges an onboard battery. The battery, in turn, powers an electric motor that turns the wheels."

Ghosn stated:

"This new electric vehicle will meet consumer demand for greater autonomy and fuel efficiency."

"It will utilize a new e-Power system that matches the agility, quietness, strong acceleration and efficiency of the Nissan Leaf."

Nissan's hope is that the range-extender will make for a lower cost, long-range plug-in electric car. Toshiyuki Nakajima, manager of Nissan's advanced vehicle engineering department, explained the e-Power system in such a way that it appears to operate identically to the Chevrolet Volt.

It remains to be seen if Nissan will employ e-Power across its lineup in the future, but we do know that at least one car will have this technology starting next year.

Source: Automotive News