Nissan will be the next automaker to offer an electric vehicle with a range-extender engine.
Expected to be revealed next year, Nissan will incorporate the technology into a new model rather than using the existing Leaf. Unlike traditional hybrids or plug-in hybrids, the range-extender engine has no connection to the driving wheels and is integrated strictly to act as a generator, helping increase the effective driving range of the EV.
While it would make sense for Nissan to offer a range-extender engine as an option to the Leaf, the company’s deputy general manager Yoshi Shimoida confirmed to Motoring that there will be “no engine” for the Leaf. “But in the future Nissan will add to the lineup of EV systems an engine that is only for generating energy,” he said.
Nissan refers to the technology as a series hybrid and it will be similar in execution to the range-extender engine used in the BMW i3. He declined to say what the name of the model will be, but did reveal that it will be announced next year.
At this year’s Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan debuted the IDS concept, a self-driving electric car that is believed to preview the next-generation Leaf model.
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