Nissan Taking Note e-Power Hybrid Overseas After Beating Prius In Japan

Nissan is ready to broaden its vehicle electrification sales by taking the Note e-Power hybrid global after nudging past the Toyota Prius.

The automaker launched the e-Power option to the Note subcompact hatchback in its home market last November – only to see it sell like hotcakes and beat the leading Prius in Japanese market sales in January.

It was a bit of a surprise to the automaker and observers in Japan. The gasoline-engine Note had been stale in the market, but the hybrid e-Power was able to be number one in overall auto sales. The Prius has been one of the best selling cars in that country.

Now the Japanese automaker is hoping to spread that enthusiasm to overseas markets.

“It is a technology that clearly can fit outside Japan in all the key markets,” said Daniele Schillaci, Nissan’s executive vice president in charge of global marketing and sales, at the Shanghai auto show. “We are thinking about moving forward faster on electrification, not only in pure EVs, but also in this e-Power technology.”

However, the company has yet to specify which key markets the Note e-Power will include. It’s been selling in the U.S. market as Versa Note with a gasoline engine.

Nissan hopes overseas introduction of the e-Power’s innovative hybrid system will appeal to customers interested in battery-powered vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf and the e-NV200 all-electric van.

The Note e-Power uses its 1.2-liter 3-cylinder engine as a generator to charge the 1.5-kWh battery while an electric motor drives the front wheels.

It differs from the Prius in technology by having the Note e-Power’s battery power provide more of the forward motion. Toyota splits propulsion between the engine and the motor.

Nissan has been able to reduce costs in the Note e-Power by sharing some parts with the Leaf.

SEE ALSO:  Nissan Note e-Power Hits Japanese Streets

The Prius still beats the e-Power hybrid in Japanese fuel economy ratings. The Note e-Power gets a 32.7 kilometers per liter (77 mpg) score, while the hybrid Prius gets 96 mpg and the plug-in hybrid Prius Prime gets 87.5 mpg.

For comparison sake, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has given the 2017 Prius hybrid 53 mpg in combined rating, while the Prius Prime received a 133 MPGe combined rating.

As mentioned, the company has yet to release a global product introduction schedule.

Schillaci does think the e-Power’s benefits will find interest and sales overseas.

“When a technology is successful, it is natural for us to seek something a bit wider,” he said.

Toyota had been seeing its sales of the Prius decline in the U.S. market in the recent years. While the Japanese automaker has been swapping the top spot for hybrid sales with the Ford Fusion Hybrid this year, overall hybrid sales are up 10.5 percent this year compared to the first four months of 2016 in the U.S.

It might be a good time to launch the Nissan Note e-Power in the U.S., and possibly other Nissan models with the e-Power hybrid system.

Automotive News

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Trump vs California, Honda Clarity explained, Tesla Roadster redux, VW diesel V-6 pact: Today's Car News

2017 Hyundai Elantra IIHS crash testToday, a Lotus powered by Tesla that recalls the legendary Roadster, another VW diesel settlement, a look at California’s emission status and whether it’ll stay that way, and why the Honda Clarity lineup emerged the way it did. All this and more on Green Car Reports. As always, the Renault Zoe topped the charts for plug-in electric vehicles sold…

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1,360HP / 4,671 LB-FT All-Electric NIO EP9 Smashes Nurburgring Road Car Lap Record

Engineering a vehicle with the Nürburgring in mind doesn’t always produce the most enjoyable on-road driving experience, but it often results in one amazing performance machine.

The NIO EP9 electric supercar was already the fastest EV ever to grace the track, which is a feat in itself since the Tesla Model S proved itself incapable of maintaining full-trust for the duration of the 14-mile track. However, after taking another stab at it, the NIO is claiming the EP9 is now the fastest production vehicle ever to grace the track — gas or electric.

Although it has not yet released dash cam footage or official confirmation and documentation, under what NIO admitted to being perfect conditions, it says the EP9 completed the course in 6:45.90. That’s over 19 seconds quicker than its pervious lap time and 6 seconds quicker than the Lamborghini Huracan Performante’s. The EP9 also bested the Radical SR8LM, which is not globally street legal and only slightly more useful for daily-driving duties than the space shuttle.

Although, the EP9 isn’t exactly a Honda Accord. It may be road legal worldwide but it’s also a made to order 1.48 million dollar electric hypercar. EIO only built six in its last production run and it’s unknown how many will be assembled in the recently announced second round. But they’ve built enough to consider the ludicrous EV a road-worthy production car, and therefore valid to complete against other production vehicles’ times on Nordschleife — and track records seem to be something NIO is particularly interested in.

“In October 2016, we aimed to set a new lap record for an electric vehicle with our NIO EP9,” said Gerry Hughes, Head of NIO’s Performance Program and Formula-E Team Principal. “In the inclemental weather that the Nürburgring Nordschleife is known for, the EP9 completed two laps of the 20.8 km (12.9m) ‘Green Hell’, one of which was in 7m 05.12s, beating the previous EV lap record, making it the fastest electric car in the world. The EP9’s new lap record is 19.22 seconds faster than its previous lap time. This is a fabulous achievement for NIO and I am very proud of the team that has worked tirelessly to achieve this accolade.”

The EP9’s 1360 horsepower and 4,671 pounds of torque have made it the fastest production car ever to lap the Circuit of the Americas earlier this year. It would appear that NIO’s publicity strategy for 2017 is to take the EP9 around to different tracks, allow it to smash the current lap record, and issue a press release every two months.

While many will claim this is death knell of internal combustion superiority, we should remember that Formula E is still considered by car enthusiasts as very boring and most EVs still have trouble maintaining steam at the outer limits. The EP9 is a dark horse that may be able to lay down numbers only a few seconds behind cars competing in the World Endurance Championship, but its battery life would never permit it to stay out for more than a handful of laps. At least, not yet.

Although no dash cam footage is available, here is the view from the 7:05 previous record lap.

This article originally appeared at TheTruthAboutCars.com

The post 1,360HP / 4,671 LB-FT All-Electric NIO EP9 Smashes Nurburgring Road Car Lap Record appeared first on HybridCars.com.

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