Nissan Intelligent Mobility

Since the late 1990s, hybrid powertrain systems have been developed by various manufacturers, acting as the first step in electrification of vehicles. The systems are similar in having an electric motor and a combustion engine but differ in the way they operate. The ideal operating strategy is to be able to use the electric motor as much as possible, with the engine coming in when extra power is needed.

Nissan’s e-POWER system takes a slightly different approach although it has the motor and engine as well. Part of the electrification strategy under Nissan Intelligent Mobility, e-POWER borrows from the EV technology developed for the LEAF, now the best-selling fully electric car in history.

Nissan Intelligent Mobility anchors critical company decisions around how cars are powered, how cars are driven, and how cars integrate into society. In 2006, Nissan R&D was able to achieve a breakthrough in its energy management technology by reducing the battery capacity to match its competitors’ hybrid vehicles while still delivering desirable EV qualities, such as quietness and efficient energy use. In addition, application of Nissan’s technologies, such as the integration of a power-generating engine, electric motor drive for compact car use, strengthening of the powertrain’s rigidity and improvements in NVH levels, became the foundation of e-POWER and its implementation in the compact-car segment.

Where the LEAF requires regular recharging of its battery pack, an e-POWER system does not need that as a small petrol engine is used to charge the high-output battery pack when necessary. This means that the driver will have no need to look for a charging station (or set one up in his home) and no ‘range anxiety’ (the fear of running of out electricity and being unable to recharge).

A significant difference between the e-POWER system and other hybrid systems is that the wheels are driven only by the electric motor. With other hybrid systems, the motor and engine are used to propel the vehicle, varying their amount of contribution according to driving conditions.

The e-POWER’s compact powertrain consists of a petrol engine, power generator, inverter, and electric motor. In conventional hybrid systems, a low-output electric motor is mated to a petrol engine to drive the wheels when the battery is low (or when traveling at higher speeds). However, in the e-POWER system, the engine is not connected to the wheels; its function is to charge the battery. Thus, the car has its own ‘charging station’ wherever it goes, recharging the battery whenever it is low.

This system structure generally requires a bigger motor and battery because the motor is the only power source to drive wheels. This has made it hard for the automotive industry to mount the system in compact cars. However, Nissan found a way to minimize and reduce weight, develop more responsive motor control methods and optimize energy management. As a result, the e-POWER system can use a smaller battery than the LEAF but delivers EV performance.

This means that there is maximum torque almost instantly – a characteristic of electric motors – , which enhances acceleration. Because the system relies on the engine less frequently, fuel efficiency is comparable to that of leading conventional hybrids, especially during daily town driving.

The Note sold in Japan was the first model to use the e-POWER system.

Over the years, Nissan has been improving and refining the e-POWER system while also offering it in selected models for the Japanese market. It has been progressively offered in other markets since 2020 and this year, the new Qashqai SUV will be the first model in Europe to be equipped with the system. The system was also introduced in China last year in the new Sylphy model.

At the heart of the latest e-POWER system is a 1.5-litre 3-cylinder turbocharged variable compression 156 bhp petrol engine (pictured below) which has been developed specifically for this application. First used by Infiniti, the engine’s variable compression capability (between 8.1 and 14.1:1) is a unique feature in an internal combustion engine and allows it to adjust compression ratio, giving both optimum performance and economy depending on the engine load. The 140 kW electric motor is of a similar size and power output as found in Nissan’s EV models.

With the variable compression ratio, the engine runs within its optimal range and best compression ratio, leading to superior fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions compared with a traditional internal combustion engine, as well as a refined drive thanks to reduced engine noise.

To maximise performance, in high acceleration or high-speed situations, the energy management control unit within the e-POWER system can send the power generated by the engine directly to the electric motor, via the inverter, to bolster the electricity supply which is coming from the battery. Under deceleration and braking, the kinetic energy is recaptured and channelled back to the battery to optimise efficiency.

Key to the development of the e-POWER system for the Qashqai was the need to ensure the driving experience gave a ‘connected’ sensation, where the petrol engine speed remains relative to the vehicle’s road speed. Engineers at Nissan Technical Centre Europe collaborated in developing a system called ‘Linear Tune’. This feature governs the petrol engine and progressively increases the speed of the 1.5-litre engine to meet the motor’s energy demands as the car accelerates, ensuring there is no ‘disconnect’ between what the occupants experience in terms of performance and sound.

New Qashqai is first Nissan model in Europe with e-POWER.

The disparity between engine speed and road speed is a phenomenon that drivers and passengers find unsettling. For example, a sudden rise in engine revs without a commensurate increase in speed is perceived as frustrating and ‘disconnected’ by occupants – which Linear Tune addresses.

Although sales of EVs are growing rapidly, especially in Europe, Nissan understands that not everyone is ready to make the switch for various reasons. The e-POWER system therefore provides a transitional phase where the benefits of using an EV can be experienced without the present concerns that many may have regarding recharging and range.

A chance to become a ‘millionaire’ when purchasing a new Nissan vehicle in March

Towards the end of March, we previewed the new Nissan Navara and at that time, Edaran Tan Chong Motor (ETCM) only showed one variant – the flagship Navara PRO-4X. But that is obviously not all there is to the range for the latest ‘Mothertrucker’, as ETCM nicknamed it. In fact, the range consists of 6 variants, all imported from Thailand in CBU (completely built-up) form with prices starting from RM91,900 and topping out at RM142,400 (for private registration in Peninsular Malaysia, excluding insurance).

Prices shown are for private registration and do not include insurance premiums.

The wide range is intended to cater to different budgets and usage requirements. While the Navara is usually advertised as a lifestyle machine for private use, it is also just as capable as a workhorse. However, those who buy it for business purposes are likely to use it in rough conditions and won’t care much for fancy features. All they want is a tough, well-built truck that can haul heavy loads and keeps running instead of spending downtime in a workshop. All variants of the new Nissan model come with a warranty of 5 years or 150,000 kms (whichever comes first).

For such commercial customers, ETCM offers two lower-priced variants with simpler equipment and 6-speed manual transmission, one of which is a single cab. While the 2.5-litre turbodiesel engine is the same for all variants, the one for these two variants has different tuning which produces an output of 163 ps/403 Nm. The engine for the other four variants produces 190 ps/450 Nm and all these variants have a 7-speed automatic transmission.

Apart from the bolder, more dominating appearance of the front end, the new Navara (except for the Single Cab) has a new rear Multilink Suspension with dual-rate coil springs that reduce body toss motion; Electronic Locking Rear Differential that allows the left and right wheels to rotate as a unit; Tailgate Assist that helps to lighten opening and closing operation; Integrated Rear Bumper Step that makes bed access easier; and acoustic laminated glass for the front windscreen and front windows to make things quieter in the cabin.

Like all modern pick-up trucks, active safety is comparable to what you get in a passenger car. There’s ABS with Electronic Brake Distribution and Brake Assist, Vehicle Dynamic Control and Traction Control, an Active Brake Limited Slip Differential, Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control. The last three systems would be especially useful during off-road driving.

For the Navara PRO-4X Auto, VL Auto and V Auto variants, active safety goes on step further with Nissan Intelligent Mobility advanced driver assistance features. These systems monitor the road ahead and warn the driver if there is a possible collision risk. If the driver fails to do the right thing – ie decelerate, brake or take avoiding action – then the computer will apply the brakes automatically to prevent the collision.

Other assistance features include an Intelligent Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection and Off-Road Mode,  Lane Departure Warning and Blind Spot Warning and Rear Cross Traffic Alert which helps during reversing out of a parking bay. And should a tyre lose air, the driver will be made aware of it, which can be useful when driving off-road.

For those who want to personalise their Navara further, ETCM has a range of exclusive factory-fitted accessories and they come with a 3-year/100,000 km warranty. There are four packages, ranging in price from RM3,200 to RM10,950, depending on the variant. The good thing is that this extra cost can be included in the total financing amount and repaid over the same number of years for the H-P loan. Incidentally, ETCM has a Flexi Financing promotion where the monthly instalment for the Navara Single Cab can start at RM670.

Visit www.nissan.com.my to locate an authorised Nissan showroom in Malaysia where you can view and test drive the new Navara.

Preview of the updated Nissan Navara PRO-4X, to go on sale on April 16


Social distance

Edaran Tan Chong Motor’s new Nissan Almera Turbo is beginning to appear on roads around the country in increasing numbers as new owners take delivery of their cars. Apart from the fresh new styling and turbocharged powertrain, the new Almera is also packed with many safety technologies which can contribute to helping reduce road accidents.

Nissan Safety Shield 360
These are the Nissan Safety Shield 360 technologies that work together to provide safety monitoring and intervening to prevent accidents when necessary. This follows the trend in the industry whereby driver assistance systems are being provided which use camera imagery as well as radar sensors to scan the road ahead. Additionally, there are sensors to scan the sides for vehicles in the blind spots, and towards the rear to aid reversing.

Standard on all Almera Turbo variants are the Intelligent Forward Collision Warning (IFCW) and Intelligent Forward Emergency Braking (IFEB) systems. The IFCW, operational at speeds between 5 km/h and 80 km/h, monitors the road ahead and alerts the driver when the car is too close to a vehicle ahead or there is a risk of collision.

2020 Nissan Almera Turbo
Intelligent Forward Collision Warning ensures that a safe gap is always maintained when there is a vehicle ahead.

The alert is shown on the 7-inch Advance Drive Assist Display (ADAD), along with an audible alert. This means the driver should take steps such as decelerating or even braking to avoid the collision. However, if the driver does not take these actions, then the system will take over and activate the brakes automatically.

The early braking should prevent a collision or at least reduce the speed so that the severity is less, which can make repair costs less expensive. The brakes will remain locked for about 2 seconds after the car stops moving before being deactivated.

Alerting drivers behind
Incidentally, the Almera brake system has an Emergency Stop Signal function which can help to reduce rear-end collisions. If the brake pedal is pressed hard and suddenly, the hazard warning lights will come on automatically (besides the brake lights, of course). This will alert drivers behind that the car is decelerating very quickly under braking as they might not notice it right away. This will prompt them to also brake and slow down, and it could prevent the sort of multiple accidents on highways that we read about.

Watching the sides and rear
Other safety technologies available are the Blind Spot Warning (BSW) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) systems. BSW is available from around 32 km/h and uses sensors to keep an eye on blind spot areas at approximately 3 metres x 3 metres towards the rear sides of the car. If the turn signal is activated and a vehicle is detected, the drive will be warned by sound as well as warning indicators on the ADAD and the relevant side mirror.

RCTA is a more recent safety system that is slowly appearing in cars. It is useful during reversing out of a parking bay when the driver’s view of either side might be blocked. The same rear radar sensors help to detect an approaching vehicle on either side and warn the driver with an audible alert and indicator on the side mirror where the vehicle is approaching from. This warning could help save an expensive accident!

Parking made easy
The Almera Turbo driver is also assisted by the Intelligent Around View Monitor (IAVM) with Intelligent Moving Object Detection (IMOD). This system (also offered in the X-Trail, Serena S-Hybrid and Navara) not only helps make parking easier but also watches out for moving objects nearby so that an accident does not occur.

The IAVM uses 4 tiny cameras installed on the bodywork and with the use of a computer program, the images are combined to create a simulated view of the car from above which shows all sides. It’s like having a drone overhead sending a video view to the display on the dashboard. The simulated image is detailed enough to show obstacles on the ground so the driver can avoid them and position the car precisely inside the parking bay.

2020 Nissan Almera Turbo

2020 Nissan Almera Turbo

Needless to say, the Almera Turbo has all the usual Active Safety systems like ABS with Brake Assist,  Vehicle Dynamic Control with Traction Control, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution for balanced braking performance, and Hill Start Assist to enable confident moving off on slopes.

“The all-new Nissan Almera Turbo takes the popular B-sedan to a new level of refinement and enhancements not usually found in this segment. With the theme ‘Challenge All Beliefs’, the all-new Nissan Almera Turbo is not the Almera everyone knew before. It is completely redesigned to be energetic, provocative and engaging with its dynamic styling, confidence-inspiring performance and innovative technologies, that sets to challenge customers’ beliefs on what modern sedans should be,” said Christopher Tan, Sales and Marketing Director of Edaran Tan Chong Motor Sdn Bhd.

2020 Nissan Almera Turbo

Test-drive and win an iPhone
Mr. Tan invites the public to try the new Almera Turbo at Nissan showrooms nationwide. “Those who take a test-drive stand a chance to win one of 5 iPhone SE mobilephones and also a chance to win prizes in the ‘Buy & Win’ Contest when they purchase and register the all-new Nissan Almera Turbo before December 31, 2020,” he said.

Until December 31, 2020, prices in Peninsular Malaysia (without insurance) range from RM79,906 to RM91,310 with sales tax exemption. After that, the sales tax of 10% will be included again and the prices of the three variants will be increased to between RM83,888 and RM95,888.

A 5-year unlimited mileage vehicle warranty comes standard, along with free scheduled maintenance for 5 times (alternating) during the first 5 years.

First Look at the all-new Nissan Almera Turbo (N18), with brief driving impressions

With the environment so competitive, distributors need a regular flow of new models to keep drawing customers to showrooms. Those that don’t get new models after some time have to create ‘special editions’ to sustain interest after a few years and that can be challenging. Edaran Tan Chong Motor (ETCM) has been facing that sort of challenge for a long time as Nissan has been able to offer only a limited number of models for this market.

This year, that ‘dry season’ ends with a brand new Almera to replace the one that has been around for a long 8 years. The all-new generation is the fourth for the nameplate though in the Malaysian market, it is the second. Designated ‘N18’, it first appeared as the Versa in America in the third quarter of last year, and then in Thailand by the end of the year. Perhaps we would have got it earlier had it not been for COVID-19 shutting down the country for a few months, and forcing everyone to postpone their launches.

2020 Nissan Almera Turbo

Pay more but get more for your money too
The new Almera Turbo is assembled at the Tan Chong plant in Serendah, Selangor and deliveries will start in October. ETCM is accepting bookings now for the model which will be available in three grades – VL, VLP and the VLT at the top – with estimated pricing between RM8X,XXX and RM9X,XXX. This is higher than the current 2-variant range which starts at RM66,000 and goes up to RM75,000+ (with exemption of 10% sales tax).

The increase in the price range would be justified by the amount of new tech that has been put into the Almera Turbo. Even though it is the entry-level model to the Nissan range in Malaysia, the list of equipment and features is impressive, particularly the driver assistance systems.

ETCM declares that the Almera Turbo VLT (the top version) for the Malaysian market is the best equipped in the region, which was not the case before. For instance, the cars sold in Thailand don’t have LED headlamps and their wheel size goes up to only 15 inches, whereas the Malaysian version is 16 inches with 205/55 tyres.

[Click here to view full specifications]

Joining the family in looks
The new car’s overall looks retain the profile of its predecessor but looks much more modern. At the front, the signature V-motion grille design unites the latest model with the rest of today’s Nissan family. The boomerang-shaped LED headlamps are also a familiar signature on Nissan models these days, providing another element of brand identification.

2020 Nissan Almera Turbo

2020 Nissan Almera Turbo

The styling treatment on the C-pillar follows that of the LEAF EV, creating a ‘floating roof’ sort of appearance. The rear end takes on a modern look with LED lighting units and for the top version, there’s also a discreet spoiler which helps lower the Cd to 0.284.

2020 Nissan Almera Turbo

Dimensionally, the Almera Turbo is a bigger car than before – 70 mm longer and 45 mm wider – with a wheelbase that has been extended by 20 mm. This would improve interior space which was one of the strong points of the Almera when it was previously launched. The boot volume is 482 litres and the divided rear backrests can be folded down to expand the capacity by extending the length of the floor.

Intelligent and safe
Promoting Nissan Intelligent Mobility and Nissan Safety Shield 360, ETCM has packed more safety features into the Almera Turbo. All three variants get Intelligent Forward Collision Warning and Emergency Braking which can not only reduce accidents but should a collision occur, the pro-active action can  help to reduce the damage.

There are up to 6 airbags installed at the front and sides and the usual Active Safety Systems – ABS, stability control, traction control, brake assist, etc – are present in all variants. ISOFIX points are also provided in the rear seats for two compatible childsteats.

For those who place safety as a high priority, what comes with the VL variant are features which were only on the more expensive Nissan and Infiniti models just 10 years ago. There’s Blind Spot warning (with the warning shown on the door mirrors as well as the instrument panel), Rear Cross Traffic Alert when reversing, and an Intelligent Around View Monitor.

The monitor gives a top-down view of the car to aid parking and it’s also possible to switch views to one of the four sides for a closer look at the surrounding. No more excuses not being able to park properly in a bay and getting photographed to be shamed!  The system also has Moving Object Detection which alerts the driver when there are moving objects around the car.

2020 Nissan Almera Turbo

2020 Nissan Almera Turbo

2020 Nissan Almera Turbo

Much of the information is shown on the instrument panel as well as the 8-inch full colour touchscreen in the middle of the dashboard. The new spacious ‘Gliding Wing’ instrument panel design has a combination of a conventional analogue speedometer on the right, and a variable display on the left. The driver can choose to show a tachometer, fuel consumption (average and historical) and warnings of other vehicles ahead or nearby. A coolant temperature bar can also be displayed for those who have concerns about the operating temperature.

2020 Nissan Almera Turbo

The equipment list is as good as other rivals in the same segment and for the more expensive versions, ETCM has added leather upholstery, cruise control, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob and automatic climate control. Pushbutton starting/stopping of the engine is standard and there’s also Apple CarPlay for smartphone connectivity.

152 Nm of torque from 1 litre
Under the bonnet is a Nissan HR10DET engine and this is a 3-cylinder unit with a displacement of 999 cc. This is big news because it’s a bold move for ETCM to choose a 1-litre engine (although they probably don’t have much choice as they must follow other ASEAN countries) instead of a bigger powertrain. The last time ETCM sold a 1-litre model was in the 1980s when it had the March hatchback.

Malaysians are still displacement conscious, never mind that with all the modern technology plus turbocharging, smaller engines now generate as much power – and even more – as larger engines. Many Malaysians still regard small displacement engines as being ‘weak’. Their first question would be ‘can go up Genting or not?’, the steep road up to the hill resort being a test of performance.

Perhaps it’s because of our fuel being priced low (with subsidies until early this year) that motorists don’t think too much of economizing on fuel costs. But in other countries, motorists are much more conscious and appreciate it when they can get lower fuel consumption and yet not have to sacrifice performance.

2020 Nissan Almera Turbo

The 1-litre engine in the Almera Turbo produces 100 ps, just 1 ps less than the 1.5-litre engine of the outgoing model. But what is more impressive – and useful – is that it generates up to 152 Nm of torque which is 13 Nm or 9.3% more than the 1.5-litre engine. And where the maximum torque in the bigger engine was only available when it was spinning at 4,000 rpm, all 152 Nm is available from 2,400 rpm all the way to 4,000 rpm. This means that take-offs will be strong and overtaking will be quicker.

Over 40 years ago, when Daihatsu introduced the world’s first 3-cylinder, 4-stroke engine in its Charade, the 1-litre engine produced only 60 ps and 81 Nm. It was enough to give zippy performance with the light hatchback. Back then, fuel delivery was by a carburettor but today’s 1-litre engines have a turbocharger which boosts output significantly. The turbocharger in the Nissan engine also has an electronic wastegate, managing the high compression pressures efficiently to reduce turbo lag.

Multipoint electronic fuel injection (EFI) also helps deliver fuel more efficiently and while EFI, turbocharging and 4 vales per cylinder already boost output, the 67% higher output compared to a 1-litre engine in the late 1970s is also due to other technological advancements. For example, there is Mirror Bore Coating Technology – adapted from the mighty GT-R engine – which reduces friction internally.

BHPetrol RON95 Euro4M

So it’s really time to put away the negative perceptions about engine displacement and give attention to the output numbers instead. The displacement may be small but these modern engines like the HR10DET can provide performance comparable to bigger engines, and they will save you money.

ETCM claims that the Almera Turbo can go up to 18.4 kms per litre which means the full tank of 35 litres should be good for at least 650 kms.

First driving impressions
At today’s introduction to the new Almera Turbo, ETCM also offered the chance to get brief driving impressions around the Glenmarie area. It was certainly a welcome opportunity to check out the new engine powering the car.

The new Almera Turbo (front car) is larger and lower than the car it replaces.

I certainly remember what a 1-litre engine used to be like, having driven the old Charade back in 1977. Such small engines have also been used in Perodua models over the years and it is clear that they have improved, and with the Almera Turbo’s engine, the advancement is really quite impressive.

As expected, the car moved off the line with eagerness. The shifts were smooth with the next-generation XTRONIC CVT that uses a D-Step Logic System. This software-based system creates a feel of the CVT that is like a conventional torque converter transmission with linear progression. On occasions when the road slopes steeply, the transmission can be locked in low ratio for easier forward progress.

Although noise levels were reasonably low, that ‘motorboat sound’ typical of 3-cylinder engines could still be heard. It’s common with such engines and you get used to it. What’s more important is that the Nissan engineers have been able to overcome the vibration issues that are inherent in 3-cylinder engines. Even under hard acceleration, the engine was almost as smooth as a 4-cylinder unit.

2020 Nissan Almera Turbo

Generally, the engine provides as much performance as most people would require. If you are law-abiding and do not venture over the highest national speed limit, 100 ps is fine. If you are in a hurry, you still have the high torque for safe and quick lane changes when there is a need overtake. There wasn’t a steep slope to check its climbing ability but I am sure that it will do ust fine. Definitely, this car will have no problems going up to the Genting Highlands resort.

If you want to find out yourself, ETCM starts the test-drive program for the public this weekend and next weekend at 18 showrooms around the country. And just for going on a test-drive in the Almera Turbo, you could also win a RM2,199 iPhone SE. To locate a showroom, visit www.nissan.com.my.



Although the Nissan Kicks, inspired by the streets of Brazil, has been around since 2016, it has not been available in ASEAN. To make up for that, the carmaker has launched the e-POWER version and it’s actually a world debut which took place in Thailand. The model is built at the Nissan factory in the country as well.

The Kicks e-POWER, as the ‘e’ suggests, uses an electrified powertrain. The technology used in e-POWER has been proven in Japan where it has been available for the past few years. The compact hybrid powertrain uses an EM57 electric motor, generator and inverter that generates electricity from its 1.2 litre DOHC 12-valve 3-cylinder petrol engine. Electricity is stored in a 1.57 kWh lithium-ion battery pack

2020 Nissan Kicks e-POWER

The e-POWER system can generate a maximum power output of 95 kW/129 ps, with up to 250 Nm of torque. Unique to e-POWER technology, when extra acceleration is required or when climbing a steep hill, the electric motor receives power from both the battery and the engine to enhance its performance. During deceleration, the engine stops running, and regenerative power is used to charge the battery until the vehicle comes to a complete stop, wasting no energy generated from deceleration.

The driving experience is also enhanced by intelligent accelerator technology. Its one-pedal technology (also found in the latest LEAF EV) allows drivers to launch, accelerate, decelerate, or stop the car by using only the accelerator pedal. By using only one pedal, tasks such as judging the distance between cars, decelerating, and stopping when going downhill or stopping for traffic lights are greatly simplified.

The driver can choose from 4 driving modes: Normal, S, Eco and EV. In Normal, the car produces strong acceleration off the line and stopping power (lifting off the acceleration pedal) that is claimed to be on par with the braking of its conventional petrol-powered counterparts. In S, the car accelerates quicker with enhanced stopping power. Eco is the fuel-saving mode which is regulated by battery power. EV mode uses stored battery electric power only, allowing a quiet drive experience without the petrol engine operating.

The Kick features 14 best-in-class Nissan Intelligent Mobility technologies. These include Intelligent Cruise Control, Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, Intelligent Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Intelligent Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection and Intelligent Rear View Mirror.

Inside the Kicks
Inside, the passenger cabin features high-quality design and refinement, including the modern and simple ‘Gliding Wing’ instrument panel design that is dominated by a centrally-mounted 7-inch full-colour display housing a comprehensive infotainment system.

2020 Nissan Kicks e-POWER

Intelligent Integration elements are powered by Nissan Connect, a multi-infotainment system with 8-inch touchscreen Colour Display Audio. It keeps customers ahead of the curve by bringing infotainment, navigation, safety and security under a single platform with a seamless connection via smartphone (Apple CarPlay for iOS).

2020 Nissan Kicks e-POWER

“The launch of the all-new Nissan Kicks e-POWER in Thailand represents the disruptive and innovative DNA of Nissan that we continue to bring to the region,” said Yutaka Sanada, MC Chairman and Regional Senior Vice-President, Nissan Asia & Oceania. “This is an exciting day for Nissan and Thailand, as a key global production and export hub for Nissan and regional leader driving the company’s vision for electrification of mobility.”

In Thailand, the price range for the four versions start from 889,000 baht and goes up to 1,049,000 baht (RM120,650 – RM142,360). The battery pack is designed to last for up to 10 years and the electric system for up to 5 years. This is complemented by a factory warranty of 3 years or maximum of 100,000 kms.

2020 Nissan Kicks e-POWER

Coming to Malaysia?
Last year, Edaran Tan Chong Motor (ETCM) did some promotion of EVs and also launched the second-generation LEAF EV as well as the X-Trail Hybrid. With the Almera already long in the market, it would seem like a good idea to replace it with the Kicks. However, whether the e-POWER variant will be offered or just with a conventional powertrain remains to be seen. Typically, ETCM is tight-lipped about new models although it has mentioned that this new model will be offered in future.

Visit www.nissan.com.my to know more about the LEAF and X-Trail Hybrid.


Manufacturing technology in the Japanese auto industry has been constantly improving, enabling carmakers to deliver products that are of higher quality. Initially, the technologies were used in Japan but with the globalisation of the industry today, factories all over the planet also serve as production hubs for certain models, so they too need to have the best technologies for making their vehicles.

In view of this, Nissan will make a substantial investment in advanced technologies and equipment for its factories around the world. Following an initial investment of about 33 billion yen at the company’s Tochigi Plant in Japan, the technologies will be rolled out across factories globally.

Nissan LEAF

Necessary for new generation of vehicles
These innovations will help deliver a new generation of electrified and intelligent automobiles (like the Nissan LEAF pictured above) that embody the company’s Nissan Intelligent Mobility vision, while also making production operations more flexible, efficient and sustainable. This latest investment represents a necessary rethinking of conventional car-making and tackles the structural and technical challenges of producing vehicles that will lead the industry in a new era of electrification and intelligence.

“We’re facing an unprecedented evolution in the capabilities of our vehicles,” said Hideyuki Sakamoto, Nissan’s Executive Vice-President on charge of manufacturing and supply chain management. “Our job is to make this evolution a reality by rethinking how we build cars. This will also mean shifting the efforts of our expert technicians from techniques they’ve already mastered to new, unexplored areas.”

Building the future of mobility
Nissan’s next generation of cars will be electrified, intelligent and connected. They will be ‘electronics-dense’ and use many materials which are new. This adds new complexity to design and construction, requiring major advancements in production engineering.


One such advancement is the Universal Powertrain Mounting System (shown above) developed by Nissan’s Production Engineering Research and Development Centre. Mounting powertrains in cars is a lengthy process and strenuous work for assembly line staff, who must install multiple components in sequence. Nissan’s new system uses an automated pallet to mount the entire powertrain at once.

The system measures the car’s dimensions in real time during mounting, and the pallet makes micro-adjustments accordingly. This ensures that powertrains are installed to within a small fraction of a millimetre’s accuracy. The new system is also highly adaptable. The same pallet can mount three types of powertrains (internal combustion engine, e-POWER and pure electric), and can assemble and mount 27 different powertrain module combinations.


Bringing craftsmanship to robots
Robots have the advantage of high-speed production and consistent quality, enabling faster and higher output of vehicles. However, they are not so good when there are variations and Nissan has developed certain specialist skills and processes that, until now, could only be performed by trained craftspeople. Through an intensive collaborative process, Nissan’s craftspeople and engineers have digitized parts of these delicate processes and ‘trained’ robots to perform them around the clock. This will allow the craftspeople to focus on new, unexplored areas of expertise.

Making better workplaces with robots
When robots were first used, one of the benefits was that they could do jobs that were dangerous or strenuous for humans, like welding body parts together. Robots can perform such tasks efficiently, freeing workers to perform more valuable jobs elsewhere on the line. This also improves ergonomics, making factories easier places to work.


One example is the installation of a headliner, the overhead layer of material on the inside of a car’s roof. Workers must enter each vehicle’s cabin to perform this physically demanding job. The task has become even harder as cars come with more connected features, adding to the number of devices in and around the headliners.


Nissan’s solution is to use robots to insert the headliner through the front of the vehicle and then fasten it. Sensors monitor changes in pressure and use a proprietary logic system to determine when the clips have snapped securely into place.

Lower environmental impact
Nissan is also working to reduce the environmental impact of building cars. Changes in the painting process are especially noticeable. Car bodies must usually be painted at high temperatures because the viscosity of paint is hard to control at lower temperatures. By contrast, bumpers are made of plastic, so they need to be painted at low temperatures. This requires two separate painting processes for one vehicle.


Nissan has developed a water-based paint that maintains the right viscosity at low temperatures, so that bodies and bumpers can be painted together. This will cut carbon dioxide emissions from the process by 25%. Nissan will also use a water-free painting booth that makes it possible to collect all waste paint and reuse it in other production processes.

“These new technologies and innovations are at the heart of the company’s competitiveness,” said Sakamoto. “They will be rolled out globally in the coming years, underpinning the future of Nissan Intelligent Mobility and reinforcing our status as a leader in technology.”

Nissan has developed new technology to make custom body parts faster and at lower cost


Nissan IMx, an all-electric crossover concept vehicle is the automaker’s vision of future mobility. It’s angular design coupled with the signature V-shaped grille give the car a menacing stance. The long curved bonnet and sophisticated fin shaped front fascia seems to have been inspired by the aeronautics industry.

The car is powered by Nissan Intelligent Mobility, which is the company’s approach to changing how cars are powered, driven and integrated with society. Built on the automaker’s EV platform, the IMx has a flat under body and floor, which not only lowers the centre of gravity for better driving dynamics, but increases cabin space and luggage carrying capacity.

A pair of electric motors power the front and rear wheels, giving the car AWD capabilities. Their combined power is rated at 320kW and an amazing 700Nm of torque. Juice is supplied via a high capacity battery that has been engineered for increased energy density. On a full charge, Nissan says that the IMx is able to travel 600km before needing to be recharged.

This vehicle also has autonomous driving capabilities too, thanks to a system called ProPILOT. Once engaged, the IMx stores away the steering wheel and recline all seats, leaving ample room for the driver and passengers to rest and enjoy a relaxing journey. When disengaged, the steering wheel is propped back up and the driver can than resume control over the vehicle.

Adding to that, the car is also able to drop off its driver at his/her destination then search for a suitable parking spot to recharge. Once he or she returns, the IMx unplugs from the charger and heads on over to the pick up point. It is also able to pick a suitable charging time depending on tariffs, and when possible, return power to the power grid.

The whole process is carried out efficiently, thanks in part to the increased battery capacity and connected-car technologies, including Seamless Autonomous Mobility. It’s a future that many sci-fi movies have envisioned for years and now, Nissan might be able to bring it to reality in the not so distant future.

Speaking of the car, Daniele Schillaci, executive vice president for global marketing and sales, zero-emission vehicles and the battery business, said, “Through Nissan Intelligent Mobility, Nissan is committed to changing the way people and cars communicate, as well as how cars interact with society in the near future and beyond.”

Inside, the car has a panoramic OLED instrument display panel that allows for a view of the external environment in the background. Despite seeming a bit gimmicky, Nissan has also fitted a separate, wood grain-patterned display, which is positioned below the instrument panel and wraps around the interior door trims.

Through the use of artificial intelligence or AI, drivers will be able to control what’s displayed on the instrument panel with just their eye movements and hand gestures. This type of user interface negates the need for many physical buttons and switch-gear that we are accustomed to seeing in our cars today and instead, offers a less cluttered and more elegant cabin design.

We don’t know when these technologies will make thier way into mass produced Nissan vehicles, but such systems will prove to be exceptionally beneficial in our busy world. It could reduce the number of accidents resulting from inattentiveness, driver fatigue and other issues.


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