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Nissan Motor Co Ltd released the "Note e-Power" series hybrid vehicle, which realizes the acceleration performance of an electric vehicle (EV) and can be powered by gasoline, Nov 2, 2016.

Nissan released the "Leaf" EV in 2011. But, in the segment of compact cars, the "Aqua" and "Fit" hybrid vehicles are selling well, and the company aims to use the Note to compete with them.

"In the domestic (Japanese) market, five-number-size compact cars are required," said Naoya Fujimoto, who is a managing executive officer of Nissan and is responsible for the development of compact cars. "From that viewpoint, the Leaf EV is relatively large and expensive. Technically, the Note e-Power is a series hybrid vehicle, but it has a large interior space. Also, its fuel efficiency under the JC08 test mode (37.2km/L, approx 87.5mpg) is competitive with its hybrid rivals. Actually, it was possible to further increase fuel efficiency, but we reduced noise by adjusting the operating conditions and rotation speed of the engine."

The capacity of the Note e-Power's lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery is 1.5kWh, which is larger than the capacities of the Aqua's and Fit's Li-ion batteries (0.9kWh). However, Nissan realized an interior space as large as that of the gasoline model of the Note by placing the battery under the front seats. The e-Power's 12V battery for auxiliaries is located in an area that stores a spare tire, unlike the gasoline model.

The price of the "e-Power S," whose fuel efficiency is 37.2km/L under the JC08 test mode, is ¥1,772,000 (approx US$17,393), which is equivalent to the price of the lowest-price model, "L," of the Aqua (¥1,761,382, 37.0km/L). The acceleration performance with the motor whose maximum output is 80kW is claimed to be higher than that of a 2.0L turbo engine. And Nissan emphasizes the acceleration performance, large interior space and low noise while claiming that the fuel efficiency and price are equivalent.