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Nissan is focused on introducing two new technologies this year on a new Electric Vehicle as it strives to become a leader in EVs and autonomous vehicles.
The Japanese automaker will add a new range extender engine for its electric vehicles in hopes of relieving range anxiety. In addition, it will begin rolling out its autonomous technologies with a single-lane, self-driving steering feature. Both the range extender engine and the self-driving steering feature will debut on Japan-market vehicles in the current fiscal year ending March 31, 2017. The self-driving feature will then roll out to the U.S., Europe and China. The company didnít reveal any plans on bringing the range extender to other markets.
The new hybrid powertrain, called e-Power, made its debut on the Gripz concept at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. It uses a system that is similar to the Chevrolet Volt, taking advantage of a small engine to generate electricity that charges the onboard battery. Itís also like the range extender engine offered on the BMW i3.
Whatís interesting is that Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said the technology will be introduced on a new electric vehicle, rather than in the current Leaf. 'This new electric vehicle will meet consumer demand for greater autonomy and fuel efficiency,' said Ghosn at the companyís annual shareholders meeting. 'It will utilize a new e-Power system that matches the agility, quietness, strong acceleration and efficiency of the Nissan Leaf.'
As for its autonomous technology, it is called ProPilot and will allow automated driving and steering around curves within a single lane on highways and stop-and-go traffic. It is currently unclear what vehicle will introduce the technology.