Nissan To Launch Range-Extended Electric Vehicle In 2016: Report


2015 Nissan Murano

2015 Nissan Murano

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The Nissan Leaf is now firmly established as the bestselling electric car in history.

Nissan expects to deliver its 200,000th Leaf sometime next month.

And Nissan managed to achieve that without offering a gasoline range extender, as some other makers do with their battery-electric models.

DON'T MISS: Five Years After Launch, 200,000th Nissan Leaf Electric Car Sale Coming Up

Now though, a new report claims Nissan may explore that avenue as well.

Nissan will unveil a new range-extended model distinct from the Leaf next year, according to Australia's Motoring.

The Leaf will continue as an all-electric car, but Nissan will also add a new model with an engine "that is only for generating energy," said Yoshi Shimoida, Nissan deputy general manager for electric cars and hybrids.

Renault EOLAB concept, 2014 Paris Auto Show

Renault EOLAB concept, 2014 Paris Auto Show

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Previous reports suggested that Nissan was developing a plug-in powertrain based on the one from the Renault Eolab, a concept from the carmaker's ally that debuted at the 2014 Paris Motor Show.

The Eolab was a small plug-in hybrid hatchback designed to allow all-electric running most of the time.

Its front wheels were driven by a 50-kilowatt (67-horsepower) electric motor that also produced 150 pound-feet of torque, powered by a 6.7-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack.

ALSO SEE: Renault Eolab: Preview Of Nissan Plug-In Hybrid At Smaller Scale? (Sep 2014)

The combustion engine was a 1.0-liter three-cylinder, with 75 horsepower and 75 pound-feet of torque.

When the Eolab was unveiled, Renault said it could travel on electric power alone for 37 miles at speeds up to 75 mph. However, those figures were based on the less-stringent European testing cycle.

In a production vehicle, the battery pack size could also be increased to allow for more electric range.

2015 Nissan Rogue

2015 Nissan Rogue

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There is no official hint as to what type of vehicle will get the extended-range electric powertrain, but it may be a crossover.

Nissan previously planned to launch plug-in hybrid powertrains in larger vehicles, reserving battery-electric power for smaller vehicles.

There have also been reports that Nissan is planning a plug-in version of its Qashqai crossover, using the ZEOD name previously reserved for racecars.

MORE: Nissan Qashqai ZEOD Plug-In Concept Confirmed For Later This Year

The Qashqai is related to the Nissan Rogue, although the latter is somewhat larger.

Nissan does offer a hybrid option (no plug, though) on the Rogue in Japan, where the vehicle is sold as the X-Trail.

That hybrid may arrive in North America as a 2017 model, or it may be superseded by a model with the new extended-range electric powertrain.

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