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A few years ago Nissan introduced e-Power on the refreshed Note in Japan, and it shot up to the best selling car in the country. Basically, it uses the engine as a generator and a small power-centric battery, combining the two to put more power to the wheels through an electric motor than either on their own. Unlike a pure EV, there isn't a significant weight penalty, but it retains the instant torque of an electric motor. These cars tend to out-accelerate similarly spec'd traditional cars due to the torque delivery. But the initial model was more focused on the relatively slow speeds in Japan.

There is a new Note AWD with 114 hp and 210 ft-lb on the front axle and 67 hp and 74 ft-lb on the rear axle, geared for low and mid-range acceleration. ~2700 lb weight and EV torque delivery could make this car accelerate faster than the Juke. ~$22k for AWD and ~50 mpg (rated 80-90 mpg on the unrealistic Japanese tests). And it looks much better than the previous model.

Then the new Qashqai is coming out this year(Nissan's best selling vehicle vehicle in Europe), that will have an ~188 hp, 243 ft-lb FWD e-power system as its premium engine option. They promise a more powerful version, which I would assume will have AWD. The 155 hp generator engine is oversized for the motor output compared to the engine used in the Note system, so they likely have some headroom...

Nissan has said they are thinking about bringing it here too, although likely in a more premium vehicle, more focused on performance. What do you think? Would you buy one?

On a side note, how would you modify one?
 

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Well it will probably be software mods for the most part.

I dont think Nissan will. The NSTB mandates are too strict here for Nissan to one off a Luxury model or two. They wont recoup the money to meet those mandates.

The only thing they could do is apply this tech to an existing model Nissan. Say Rogue, Sentra etc.

My 2 cents.
 

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Ev seems interesting. Didn't top gear try the concept out. Gas generator and electric motor. I think it caught fire, as it would in top gear.

That aside, I may contemplate, but am still on the fence of the longevity of electric. It's getting closer every year for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ev seems interesting. Didn't top gear try the concept out. Gas generator and electric motor. I think it caught fire, as it would in top gear.

That aside, I may contemplate, but am still on the fence of the longevity of electric. It's getting closer every year for me.
The beauty of this is that the battery is small power-centric, only ~1.5 kWh. All the energy comes from gasoline, like a regular hybrid. While this doesn't let you plug in, the EV torque delivery is there. Gasoline still has energy density, while electricity has been proven to do well on delivering torque (as seen in trains or those Tesla drag races). Comparable performance to a Leaf+ can be had at ~half the price and 1000 lbs less.

On the plus side for longevity, this has been in the best selling car in Japan for the past few years, so there are some miles under the belt.
 
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Well it will probably be software mods for the most part.

I dont think Nissan will. The NSTB mandates are too strict here for Nissan to one off a Luxury model or two. They wont recoup the money to meet those mandates.

The only thing they could do is apply this tech to an existing model Nissan. Say Rogue, Sentra etc.

My 2 cents.
Likely for an existing model. The last Qashqai was sent here as the Rogue Sport (albeit the Korean version with a different powertrain), so there is hope.

But I have to rant here a bit about our stupid regulations. At this time, EU/US safety and emissions regulations are roughly equivalent in effectiveness, but different enough to make it expensive to have global models. Yes, our bumpers are focused on preventing low speed vehicle damage, while theirs are focused on damage to pedestrians, but overall, we are not that far apart. Living in NYC, my driving habits are more like Europe than f150 country. I would rather have a new Fiesta than anything else at a Ford dealer, but can't. If we could harmonize our regulations and test procedures, we could have more global models here, and they could import more US-market models.

Common sense tells us that a Euro NCAP 5-star rated EV (like the ID.3 or Zoe) is clearly not a death trap or a threat to air quality. But you can't bring one over till it is 25 years old. Regulatory certification aside, and even if the automaker does not want to pay for the marketing cost to bring one over or to cover warranty repairs, we should be able to bring one over on our own. Grant an importation waiver for used fuel-efficient cars that do well on international safety test.

Not that anyone is listening, but had to get that out there.
 
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100% agreed.

I am not a Biden fan but the Paris accords gets pretty much everyone on the same page. A lot of things can be done for business if everyone is on the same page.

The import rule is old and outdated. Todays cars are so much better with emissions that a few "Other" cars wont hurt a thing.
 
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Maybe there is a chance. The 25 year import rule only exists because people lobbied for it. In the past decade or so, GM became primarily a Chinese market company, Ford has moved car engineering to Europe (and stopped selling cars other than the Mustang in the US), and Chrysler was bought by Italians, with that company recently being bought by the French. It costs a lot of money to go through redundant certification processes, which leaves the US market with virtually no domestic-branded cars anymore due to lower volumes compared to trucks and crossovers. Biden is the son of a Chevy dealer and still owns the Corvette he got new in the 60's. So he is a car guy, but you would likely need to show some benefit to Detroit to get support. DOT Secretary Pete likely wants to do something newsworthy...

Politics aside, we fundamentally should be able to do what we want as long as it doesn't infringe on other people. Lighter, more fuel efficient cars available in other markets are safer for other vehicles on the road and are better for the environment. The positives outweigh any negative externalities.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
"...The Untied Nations’ World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29) began work in 1958. Today, WP.29 harmonization of vehicle safety, environmental protection, energy efficiency and theft-resistance standards is more thorough than ever, and 60-plus countries recognize WP.29, permitting the import, registration and use of U.N.-type approved vehicles.

There are only two major exceptions: the U.S. and Canada. With WP.29 in place for six decades, it’s reasonable to assume that, say, a 2003 Belgian-spec car would comply with most American safety/emissions requirements with zero modification..."

A more international approach might benefit us.

 

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It sure would. Other countries get better cars. It would be nice to see some change. But good change.
 
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