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PHOTO CAPTION: Nissan IDS Concept debuted at 2015 Tokyo Auto Show

Nissan Plans EV Range-Extender

Unlike the Chevrolet Volt, Nissan's range-extender will have function similar to the generator on BMW's i3 REx model.

Published: 13-Jan-2016

Nissan's deputy general manager of electric car engineering, Yoshi Shimoida revealed that future Nissan electric cars will offer a range extending generator similar in concept to that found on the BMW's i3 REx model. Integrated into the i3's electric drive system is an available 2-cylinder gasoline engine originally intended for use on a motorcycle, essentially doubling the range of the car up to around 150+ miles.

In order to qualify as an electric car under California emissions rules, BMW had to limit the size of the fuel tank on the i3. The 2.4 gal tank found on the European model is electronically limited to 1.9 gal for US models so that the gasoline generator range is less than the battery electric range.

According to Shimoida, Nissan will follow a similar strategy. Unlike Chevrolet's Volt, where its 4-cylinder engine does, at times, physically connect to the driveline, the Nissan generator will only keep the car's battery recharged. He also noted that there is no plan to offer the range extender option on the LEAF. Instead it will appear on a future model with speculation being that it might be used on a possible production version of Nissan's IDS concept, which debuted at the 2015 Tokyo Auto Show and is shown above.

How soon the REx option will appear wasn't announced nor was its price. On the BMW i3, the generator adds $4,800 to the base price of the car.

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