Nissan used the past weekend’s FIA Formula E race in Cape Town, the first all-electric vehicle race held in South Africa, to showcase its electric-vehicle technology.
The manufacturer’s e-POWER and e-4ORCE made its debut in Africa and gave us a taste of things to come in terms of alternative ways of providing energy for mobility.
e-POWER is Nissan’s 100% electric-motor driven system, which provides the driving experience of an all-electric car, without the need to recharge.
e-4ORCE is an all-wheel-drive system designed to work exclusively with Nissan's electrified powertrains, delivering power, comfort and control in all conditions.
For Nissan, these technologies are an essential part of the practical transition for Africa from Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) to Electric Vehicles (EVs).
The new energy-powered vehicles from Nissan brought here for the introduction of these technologies to the continent, come in the form of a Qashqai and X-Trail driving experience.
The e-POWER combines modern EV technology with an efficient 1.5-litre turbopetrol engine to charge the lightweight, lithium-ion battery pack when necessary. The electric motor delivers power directly to the wheels using energy stored in the battery pack, while the petrol engine is used to charge the battery pack or power the electric motor.
“e-POWER is a gateway technology for customers who aren’t yet ready to make the step to full EV. The technology helps bring more people closer to EV ownership and is a significant step toward our ambitions for an electrified future in support of our sustainability goals,” says Stefan Haasbroek, Nissan Africa, Chief Marketing Management Director.
Nissan says customers are at the heart of our electrification strategy and as such they understand the current barriers to electrification in Africa, especially regarding infrastructure and range anxiety.
Beyond the introduction of technologies like e-POWER, Nissan collaborates with the different stakeholders across the continent at different levels in building policy frameworks to support a future of electric mobility for Africa.
The e-POWER system was first introduced in Japan in 2017 on the Note compact family car, and it went on to become Japan's number one best-selling car in 2018. It borrows from the EV technology perfected in the Nissan LEAF, the best-selling pure electric car in history.
Under heavy acceleration, and when the battery is low, the petrol engine will deliver power not just to the battery, but to the electric motors, ensuring consistent acceleration no matter what the battery status or driving conditions are.
Thanks to the pure electric motor drive, there's no delay as with an internal combustion engine or traditional hybrid. The instant response delivers exhilarating high torque feel and agile acceleration to make overtaking or merging onto a highway easier.
Working with Nissan's electrified powertrains, Nissan has designed an all-wheel-drive system, e-4ORCE, delivering reassuring traction and acceleration in all conditions.
The dual e-motor system has a total output of 157 kW thanks to the addition of the rear motor, which allows for keen acceleration, with a zero to 100 km/h time of just 7 seconds. It also has a rear torque response that is up to 10 000 times faster than a mechanical 4WD system.
In addition, the constant torque redistribution, including torque vectoring side to side and near-perfect weight balance contribute to reassuring handling and ride comfort.
“We’re excited to be on this journey towards full electrification together with our customers to meet their individual driving needs with a clear differentiation thanks to electrified powertrains and unique Nissan technologies,” concludes Stefan.
Mercedes-Benz recently announced from its Stuttgart headquarters that it will delay its electrification goal by five years and assured investors it would keep sprucing up its combustion engine models.
When talking about new energy powered vehicles, there is more than just the typical battery electric vehicles. There is also the hydrogen fuel cell as an alternative, and one manufacturer betting big on this, is Toyota.
With the first units of the fully electric Volvo EX30 having touched down in South Africa, Volvo Car SA says pricing will start at R775 900.