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How the new Nissan X-Trail will take down the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid: Incoming e-Power technology "much better" than a hybrid

Nissan e-Power tech is coming.

Nissan stands on the cusp of an electrified revolution in Australia, with the brand's clever e-Power technology getting ready to launch.

And its technology that the brand says is "much better" than conventional hybrid technology, the latter of which has fuelled Toyota's stunning sales success with vehicles like the RAV4 Hybrid, Yaris Cross, Corolla and incoming Kluger.

The key difference is that while a conventional hybrid calls on the petrol engine and the electric motor to drive the wheels, Nissan's e-Power technology uses the engine only to charge the on-board battery, with the electric motor used exclusively to drive the wheels.

And it's this critical difference that Nissan sees as its advantage.

"First and foremost, it's fully electric to the wheels, so you get all the benefits of EV driving, and that's really our point of differentiation," says Nissan Australia MD Stephen Lester.

"From a technical standpoint, it's a series hybrid rather than a parallel hybrid, and the benefit of that is the output of performance from the (electric motor) itself.

"What we see with e-Power is when you talk about quietness of the drive, the delivery of the performance, the torque - the parts that make driving exciting - this really is what's going to attract drivers to that space, all while still delivering a petrol fuel tank that allows you to charge the battery.

"The fact that you don't have the interference of a petrol engine or another power source like in a traditional paralleled hybrid, it means that the driving dynamics, I feel, are much better."

For the record, Toyota's solution is Series-Parallel Hybrid technololgy, which allows for the electric motor, the petrol engine, or both, to power the wheels. While Nissan's e-Power technology is already in use in international models like the Note and Kicks, the brand is remaining coy on just what it will appear in Australia, though does promise it will appear in multiple models in our market.

The smart money, though, is on the RAV4 Hybrid-rivalling X-Trail, of which an all-new model was just revealed in Shanghai, and that should arrive in Australia in 2022.

That model is expected to use the Qashqai's e-Power powertrain, which marries a 140kW and 330Nm electric motor driving the wheels with a 115kW, 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine powering the battery.

"We will certainly start to see e-power in our line-up. I can't confirm which vehicle will have it first at this stage, but there will be vehicles (plural)," Mr Lester says.

"We're really excited. The performance output that we see on paper looks staggering, all while delivering the same or better fuel efficiency (as a hybrid).

"What we do know is that Australians are early adopters. We're a wealthy developed country with a mature economy and beautiful, infrastructure and roads, and all of it can help EVs and that transition.

"But the fact is that e-power delivers that fully electric to the wheel drive experience, and I think consumers will really appreciate what that is down the track.

"Are we going to convert the dyed-in-the-wool petrol heads today. No. But it will will happen, as more and more people get behind the wheel."