By the end of the current fiscal year, Nissan Motor Co. will be introducing two key technologies in support of Chief Executive Carlo Ghosn’s mandate to put the company at the forefront of electric vehicles and autonomous cars.
As outlined at Nissan’s annual shareholders’ meeting on June 22, a range extender for EVs and a single-lane self-driving feature will debut in Japan, with plans to later roll out the autonomous driving technology in the U.S., Europe and China.
The e-Power hybrid system was first shown in the Gripz compact crossover at the Frankfurt auto show and is considered to be similar to the Voltec range-extended powertrain found in the Chevrolet Volt. Nissan’s solution uses a small gasoline-powered engine to charge an on-board battery, which powers an electric motor to turn the wheels. When battery power for the vehicle is depleted, the gasoline engine is activated and the system recharges itself to offer drivers additional range.
Nissan’s ProPilot solution provides a self-driving capability when used within single highway lanes and in congested traffic. The system is to be followed in 2018 with a more advanced version that handles multiple lanes and provide support for navigating urban intersections and traffic autonomously by 2020.
Nissan and partner Renault SA indicated that they intend to integrate self-driving features in 10 vehicles by the end of the decade.