Nissan is also considering ditching the Qashqai’s diesel engine to help lower the SUV’s carbon emissions. Nissan has also confirmed that there won’t be a pure-electric version of the new Qashqai and that full electric power will be reserved for a separate SUV model based on an all-new platform, which is likely to rank over the whole family of electric cars.
The next-gen Qashqai will be based around an updated version of the Renault-Nissan Alliance’s CMF platform, which offers support for a conversion to all-electric power. There will not be an electric-powered variant of the Qashqai, however that market will be filled instead by the Japanese brand’s forthcoming all-electric SUV.
Nissan’s European Vice President of Product Planning, Ponz Pandikuthira said: “a new platform is what’s best to accommodate electrified technologies. It probably won’t include full electrification, because that’s a complete tear-up and the investment required for that would be considerably higher.”
The new 2020 Qashqai will be offered with two hybrid powertrains – one featuring Nissan’s ePower system and the other being Mitsubishi’s plug-in hybrid powertrain. The Nissan ePower system is currently found in the Nissan Note which has proven incredibly popular. It’s a series hybrid system featuring a petrol engine that works as a generator to charge the battery, which then in turns powers an electric motor.
The Plug-in hybrid technology that will come from Mitsubishi, is expected to deliver similar figures than those produced in the current Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.
“We’re investigating the ePower technology for Europe,” explained Pandikuthira. “The biggest difference when you do these onboard generator vehicles is highway driving – in Japan, they typically don’t go above 50-65mph.”“Here in Europe, you do 80-85mph on a regular basis. At those speeds, you end up depleting the battery very quickly, so the range extender has to work really hard to keep the energy going and then it goes out of its range of efficiency.”
However, it seems that Pandikuthira isn’t fully convinced about the plug-in hybrids. He told Auto Express: “We’re not pursuing a big plug-in hybrid strategy. On some car lines we’ll try it out, but the business case for plug-in hybrids is not very good. For us, it’s a bridge technology for the next two to four years until battery costs drop to the point where the variable costs of making full EVs prevail.”
With two hybrid models planned for the Qashqai, it is likely to be the end of diesel power in Nissan’s SUV. Sales of new diesel cars dropped by almost 32% in 2018. This trend continued into 2019 with new diesel vehicles declining by a further 28%.