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Nissan Australia preparing for e-Power as Japan sales top 500,000

Nissan's rival to Toyota's hybrid system will likely be in Australia late in 2022 under the bonnet of the Qashqai compact crossover.


Nissan is getting ready to welcome its rival to Toyota’s strong-selling hybrid system in Australia.

The first e-Power car in Australia is likely to be the compact Nissan Qashqai SUV, set to touch down locally late in 2022.

The current model is a top-three seller for Nissan Australia and a stalwart in the competitive world of compact crossovers, making it a logical place for ePower to feature.

It blends an electric motor making 140kW and 330Nm with a 1.5-litre petrol engine making 115kW.

The larger X-Trail is also expected to be available with e-Power in Japan, although it’s not yet clear whether the unique hybrid setup will be offered Down Under.

Nissan Australia managing director Stephen Lester has previously told CarExpert a third of the Nissan range will be electrified by 2022.

“We see e-Power playing a key role in that,” Mr Lester said, “with the benefit of an EV’s quiet operation, instant torque and smooth operation.

“Then when you marry that up with e-Power fuel efficiency with a lack of range anxiety, fully electric to the wheels, gives us a great start for overall electrification.”

Debuted in Japan, the ePower system pairs a small petrol engine with an electric motor like a Toyota hybrid – but the petrol engine isn’t used to drive the wheels.

Instead, it acts as a generator to top up the lithium-ion battery pack feeding the electric motor.

It’s a form of range extender Nissan says brings the best of both worlds: smooth, quiet progress from the electric motor and efficient, long-range cruising thanks to the petrol generator.

Japanese sales this week topped 500,000 on the back of strong demand for the Note hatchback.

It launched in 2016, followed by e-Power versions of the Serena minivan and Kicks SUV in 2018.

Toyota dominates hybrid sales in Australia. It now offers hybrid versions of its Yaris and Yaris Cross, Corolla, C-HR, RAV4, and Camry.

A hybrid version of the new Kluger seven-seater will arrive in 2021, while the next-generation LandCruiser is expected to offer hybrid power as well.

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Scott Collie
Scott Collie

Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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