Range-extended electric Nissan Note to launch in November?


2016 Nissan Versa Note

2016 Nissan Versa Note

Enlarge Photo

Nissan is known for its all-electric Leaf, but the Japanese automaker may also begin offering electric cars with gasoline-powered range extenders.

Late last year, a report indicated that Nissan was preparing to launched a range-extended electric car that was distinct from the Leaf.

Now, a new report out of Japan claims Nissan will introduce that model fairly soon.

DON'T MISS: Nissan To Launch Range-Extended Electric Vehicle In 2016: Report (Dec 2015)

The range-extended model will be a variant of the Nissan Note subcompact hatchback, and will go on sale in the company's home market in November, according to Nikkei Asian Review.

It describes a Note model in which "the wheels will only get power from the battery," but gives few other details.

The Note has never done very well in the U.S.—where it is sold as the Versa Note—but is quite popular in other markets.

2016 Nissan Versa Note

2016 Nissan Versa Note

Enlarge Photo

Nissan is reportedly aiming for a base price of around 2 million yen ($19,234) in its home market, in order to minimize the price premium over similarly-sized gasoline cars.

The carmaker has some previous experience with extended-range electric powertrains to lean on.

At the 2014 Paris Motor Show, partner Renault unveiled the Eolab concept—a small plug-in hybrid hatchback designed to run on electric power most of the time.

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

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.

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

Back in 2014, Renault said the Eolab could travel on electric power alone for 37 miles at speeds up to 75 mph. However, those figures were based on the somewhat optimistic European testing cycle.

Renault Eolab Concept for future plug-in hybrid vehicle, 2014 Paris Motor Show

Renault Eolab Concept for future plug-in hybrid vehicle, 2014 Paris Motor Show

Enlarge Photo

While the Note is sized similar to the Eolab, it's too early to say whether it will get any of the concept's powertrain hardware, however.

It was previously thought that Nissan would deploy an extended-range electric or plug-in hybrid powertrain in a crossover, as the carmaker had indicated that it would reserve these powertrains for larger vehicles.

MORE: BMW i3 REx range extender: owner assesses pros and cons of limited-power engine

But the report of an extended-range Note seems to show a reversal of that plan.

We're not entirely sure what this indicates, but it appears the long-rumored Nissan extended-range electric vehicle is getting closer.

[hat tip: Brian Henderson]

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