Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Better than your Toyota hybrid? Nissan says e-Power technology means the end of "little four-cylinder engines revving quite aggressively"

Nissan says its e-Power is better than hybrid.

Nissan says only its e-Power technology can deliver a true electric vehicle driving experience, unlike conventional hybrid technology offered by the top-selling Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and most other semi-electrified brands.

Most brands' hybrid systems - including the powertrain Toyota uses in its RAV4, Corolla, Camry, Prius and Kluger, or Subaru uses in its XV and Forester - allow both electric and petrol to power the vehicle, but Nissan's e-Power tech works differently.

With e-Power, the petrol motor is used exclusively to recharge the on-board lithium-ion battery, with only the electric motor used to power the driving wheels. It's this, says, Nissan, that separates it from the pack.

Hybrids - a technology pioneered by Toyota with the first Prius more than two decades ago - are by far the most popular electrified vehicle choice in Australia, with the models like the RAV4 Hybrid regularly appearing near the top of our best-seller lists.

Asked why customers would choose Nissan's e-Power – set to arrive in the new Qashqai – over a conventional hybrid powertrain, Nissan Australia boss Adam Paterson told CarsGuide that e-Power delivered a true electric vehicle experience without needing to plug in, meaning a faster, smoother acceleration without "a little four-cylinder engine revving quite aggressively".

"When you get the chance to drive it, it will be even more apparent, but even though we call it a hybrid - because it has a petrol motor in - it drives like an electrified vehicle," he says.

"You accelerate, in many cases, quietly, just like you do in an EV, and the power and torque is there at a rate that's that much quicker. Despite the fact it has a electric motor in it, it doesn't operate like a traditional hybrid.

"If you do what I just explained in a traditional hybrid, you hear both working together – you hear a little four-cylinder engine revving quite aggressively – and that's not the experience with e-Power at all. It's battery-driven, or electric-driven, quick acceleration.

The Nissan Qashqai will be the first model to received an e-Power drivetrain in Australia, with the technology expected to be offered across more of the Nissan range from 2023 and beyond. The e-Power powertrain combines a 140kW/330Nm electric motor with a 115kW 1.5-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine.