Nissan ePOWER: Gateway to Electrified Mobility


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It has been years since vehicle electrification has been introduced in the country. From then, various types of electrified mobility have been showcased in the Philippines with the hope of luring Filipino motorists into the unavoidable future of mobility. Despite this, it cannot be denied that local car buyers are still skeptical to jump into electrification. With valid reasons, of course. Primary of which is the lack of EV infrastructures in the country. 

Good thing, Nissan Philippines, one of the biggest auto brands to champion the switch to electric mobility in the country, has something new in store that might just get a Filipino car buyer into the electrified future.

Nissan Philippines gathered a group of motoring media at the Clark International Speedway for an experiential drive of the Nissan ePOWER. Nissan Philippines brought out the Nissan Kicks, a subcompact crossover SUV which features the said technology.

Present during the track day is none other than the new Nissan Philippines President Juan Manuel Hoyos. Also answering the questions regarding ePOWER technology are Nissan Powertrain and EV Engineering Division’s Akihiro Shibuya and Naoki Nakada. Awesome trivia, Nakada-san is one of the brains behind the development of the VR38DETT, the engine which powers the Nissan GT-R R35.

Nissan Powertrain and EV Engineering Division’s Akihiro Shibuya (left) and Naoki Nakada (right), together with Nissan Philippines President Juan Manuel Hoyos (center)

100% electric motor-powered

Nissan’s ePOWER is a driving system which utilizes an electric motor to run the wheels. Powering the electric motor is a Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) similarly found in the Nissan LEAF. Like a hybrid electric car, an ePOWER vehicle still has a gasoline internal combustion engine (ICE). However, the ICE on the ePOWER vehicle like the Nissan Kicks has zero connection to the drivetrain. Its only purpose is to charge the high voltage battery pack.

For better understanding of the tech, an ePOWER car is technically a 100% EV that does not have plug-in charging but instead carries a gas-powered generator for charging purpose.

The difference from a normal hybrid system is that a hybrid can both be run by an electric motor and an ICE. The ePOWER is 100% electric motor-powered. Its wheels do not have a mechanical link to the ICE. Again, the system only uses the gasoline engine to generate electric power to charge the battery. 

The ICE is only utilized when necessary. For example, when the battery charge level is not enough or high power is needed, the ICE will be turned on to generate electric power. Aside from the ICE, regenerative braking also generates electricity to charge the battery. Even slight decelerations can generate power for the battery. This further reduces the operation time of the ICE translating to better fuel economy.

ePEDAL

The e-Pedal is one of the technologies included in the ePOWER system. This feature allows the driver to launch, accelerate, decelerate, and even stop using only the accelerator pedal. With ePedal you can pretty much drive using one pedal alone. Braking and deceleration are applied by just lifting off the accelerator pedal. This might sound distracting at first. But upon driving with the e-Pedal, it is actually easy to get used to.

Far from the theme park bump cars, the deceleration and braking are gradual upon easing off the accelerator pedal. Having this tech in normal traffic situations should not even be a concern as brake lights will light up when fixed deceleration rate is exceeded. The e-Pedal system can be beneficial in everyday drives by making brake pedal application less than usual.

Nissan Kicks

The participants were able to experience ePOWER goodness through the subcompact crossover SUV Nissan Kicks. Subsequently, Nissan Philippines also confirmed at the track day event that the Kicks will actually be making its official Philippine debut next month.

The Kicks is one of the ePOWER models in Nissan’s global lineup.

With the rising popularity of subcompact crossovers in the local market, introducing the e-POWER technology in the Philippines through the Nissan Kicks is a good move for the auto brand. With its cleaner lines and more sophisticated design, the Kicks might just appeal to a wider demographic of Filipino car buyers than its youthful brethren Juke.

Why e-POWER?

It would be normal to ask why bother to develop such tech if we already have EVs and hybrid cars around. But looking deeper into it, this technology fits here in the Philippines. Nissan’s e-POWER tech could serve as a perfect transition from conventional ICE to electrified vehicles. The e-POWER is perfect for the Philippines where EV charging infrastructure is still far from ideal.

With the recent surge in gas prices, more Filipinos could consider jumping into electrified mobility. But the inadequate charging infrastructure in the country is one of the big reasons that is holding back buyers from purchasing their own EVs. Now with the addition of e-POWER as a new option, there is a high chance that a Filipino car buyer could jump into electrified mobility with the new Nissan Kicks. Let us just hope that the incoming electrified crossover will have an attainable price point.


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