New Qashqai e-Power - the electric car you don't need to plug in

 Published 12th August 2022
General Guides  New Launches 

There's a very good reason why you should lease a Nissan Qashqai. That might be a slightly ridiculous statement given we're talking about the car that invented the whole crossover SUV trend and has already sold in phenomenal numbers around the world, but if you do need another reason, the new Nissan Qashqai e-Power is probably it.

We're guessing you're already familiar with the benefits of the Qashqai itself – loads of space, comfortable, elevated driving position, and so on - in which case we'll concentrate on the e-Power part of the equation for now.

e-Power is part of Nissan's electrification strategy. The Qashqai is the first European model to receive this exclusive drive system. It's essentially a hybrid system, but with a twist: it combines the best of both electricity and old-fashioned petrol.

So what is e-Power?

The e-Power system is basically made up of a battery, a petrol engine, and an electric motor, much the same as any other hybrid you could think of.

What sets this one apart is that the petrol engine exists purely to produce the electricity needed to charge the battery pack, run the electric motor, or both. There is no direct connection between the engine and the wheels so you always get the smooth acceleration and instant power of an EV but having your own private power station under the bonnet means you'll never run out of electricity.

The heart of the Nissan e-Power system is the clever variable compression engine.

Qashqai e-power technology

Without going into massive technical detail that we don't necessarily understand…the engine uses a clever system that changes the length of the piston stroke depending on the load placed on the engine. When the demand for power is low the engine switches over to optimise fuel consumption and emissions. When you need a bit more electricity the engine will maximise power output automatically and either boost the power directly to the motor or send more to the batteries when the charge starts to get a bit low.

The obvious advantage of the e-Power system is that the engine always runs within its optimal range for fuel efficiency and emissions. The purely electric drive also means no delay in the delivery of torque as can be the case in a regular hybrid, and under deceleration and braking, the kinetic energy is recaptured and channelled back to the battery to further optimise efficiency.

Another bonus piece of news is that the Qashqai e-Power also benefits from a ‘one pedal' driving experience called e-Pedal Step. Designed to take the strain out of stop-start driving, e-Pedal allows you to accelerate and brake using just the accelerator. It won't bring you to a complete halt so you'll still need to be prepared to brake, but the system will gently reduce the car to ‘creeping' speed so you can crawl along in heavy traffic with a bit less effort. It also makes low-speed parking manoeuvres very smooth.

Why would you want e-Power?

e-Power is the ideal solution for anyone who would like the benefits of an EV but cannot recharge easily or isn't quite ready to make the move to full electric.

It's a crossover SUV that drives like an EV but never has to be plugged in; and it's a hybrid that never needs to use the petrol engine so economy and emissions are low.

Deliveries of the new Nissan Qashqai e-Power will start in September but the order book is already open. If you're about to lease yourself a new crossover SUV this might be the exact one you're looking for.

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