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Nissan going plugless hybrid route like Chevy Malibu

9493 Views 18 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  rmay635703
Moderator Note: The OP was misinformed in the post below. The Nissan is not like the BMW i3 EV. Instead it's like the Chevy Malibu, e.g., a very small battery ICE hybrid with no plugin capability.
Nissan is taking a step backwards while GM is taking the step forward. It is going to copy the concept of the iBMW 3 Rex, limping home when the battery rans out. The Chevy Volt has still enormous power even when the battery rans out. Now GM is going the next logical step, the Chevy Bolt EV, a pure electric with no range anxiety at an affordable price. Nissan has gone the other way!
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Idk why you're comparing the serial hybrid to a regular non-hybrid ICE. That's not the question. It's serial vs parallel.

Serial hybrids intuitively seem like they should be very efficient if you can run a small engine at optimal rpm's. That's what I thought circa early 2010. But that benefit is overblown in reality. The Gen 1 Volt's weak 35 mpg_city -- even with premium fuel -- is a great example of this configuration's real-life limitations, as is the fact that no other automakers' conventional hybrids employ a serial configuration. They use a parallel configuration DESPITE its complexity precisely because it's more efficient.

The reason (explicitly stated in the article) for Nissan to choose a serial configuration for this vehicle is cost.
The 2017 Honda Accord hybrid has a city EPA rating of 49 mpg which is mostly driven using its series hybrid mode. It also has a single fixed ratio parallel mode when driving steadily or with modest acceleration at speeds above 40-45 mph and that gets it an EPA highway rating of 47 mpg.

While a series hybrid is simpler and can skip the expense of a full transmission it has its own cost downsides. It requires 2 motors and inverter circuits that match the power of the gas engine whereas a car like the Hyundai Ioniq hybrid only needs one motor with about half the power of the gas engine but then still needs a separate transmission. A power-split system like a Prius or Malibu hybrid splits the difference by requiring 2 motors (one of them about half the power of the gas engine) but it uses a mechanically simpler transmission.
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