While various car makers are evaluating bringing in battery powered electric vehicles into the country, to be ready for the government’s deadline of 2030 for only EV sales in India, Nissan may be planning to bring a novel EV that may address the issue of lack of charging infrastructure.
Nissan is currently evaluating the hatchback, Note e-Power, and testing it on Indian roads for a possible India launch. The model is the company’s first range-extended electric vehicle.
Jerome Saigot, managing director, Nissan Motor India, said to Financial Express that unlike a conventional petrol or hybrid vehicle, the petrol motor of Note e-Power is solely used to charge the car’s battery. “This eliminates the need to charge the battery from a charging station, thus making it suitable for countries like India where the electric vehicle charging network is weak,” he adds.
The company says that the car does not include a charging slot. Rather the car will only run on petrol, which will directly power the battery inside. The company has not disclosed how much more efficient and eco-friendly than the normal hybrid or internal combustion engines the model is.
The e-Power system, which was unveiled by Nissan in late 2016, features a fully electric-motor drive. In hybrids, a low-output electric motor is paired to a gasoline engine to drive the wheels when the battery is low (or when travelling at high speeds).
However, with e-Power, the gasoline engine is not connected to the wheels and simply charges the battery. And unlike a full EV, the power source originates from the engine and not just the battery. So, while the car runs on an electric motor, it still has a petrol motor, which could mean that it could be categorised as a hybrid vehicle in India, and charged a 43% GST rather than a 12% for electric vehicles.