Nissan South America announced that e-Power electric mobility technology will arrive in this region from 2023.
The novelty was announced by Ricardo Flammini, Vice President of Marketing, Sales and After Sales for Nissan South America, within the framework of the Nissan Innovation Week, held between Tuesday and Wednesday in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo, and in which he participated iProfessional.
The announcement did not specify models, specific dates and countries where e-Power will land.
This electric mobility technology is part of the company’s long-term vision, called Ambition 2030.
Flammini said that “the arrival of e-Power, a Nissan proprietary technology, in the region’s markets is one more example of our brand’s commitment to bringing customers the best of its portfolio and that we continue to promote the path towards electrification.
Electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf and Nissan Ariya, as well as those powered by e-Power, represent two interconnected pillars of emission-reducing and resource-efficient technologies for the company.
In the e-Power system the gasoline engine is not connected to the wheels. It just charges the battery.
What is e-Power?
It is the technology through which the vehicle is powered by a 100% electric motor powered by batteries, whose energy source is an internal combustion engine with a high level of efficiency.
In this way, Nissan vehicles equipped with e-Power technology do not need to be connected to an electric power source, which allows greater autonomy.
At Nissan Innovation Week, studies and research carried out by the Japanese company in the world were shown.
Among these initiatives is the use of ethanol in power generation, under development in Brazil.
Nissan is working to achieve zero CO2 emissions and zero fatalities for its vehicles in the near future, Chris Ree, regional senior vice president of research and development for Nissan Americas, said in his presentation.
All the research carried out seeks solutions for more sustainable products and for greater customer safety.
Advances in electrification and autonomous technology
The Japanese company invests 17 billion dollars to have 50% of its cars electrified by 2030.
23 electrified vehicles will be launched, 15 of which will be electric.
Batteries made of solid materials will allow double the charge at half of the current ones.
Ree emphasized the importance of not thinking about cars anymore, but about the entire ecosystem that surrounds mobility.
The combination of a combustion engine and an electric motor is the basis of the e-Power technology. e-Power vehicles do not need to be connected to an electrical power source, which allows greater autonomy.
Flammini promised that details on models, features and launch dates will be announced later in each of the markets.
Ethanol and electrification
With global operations, Nissan works with the adaptation of products to the local reality, such as the use of ethanol in the generation of electricity under development in Brazil.
The senior manager of product engineering for Nissan South America, Ricardo Abe, explained that the project carried out jointly by Brazilian and Japanese engineering in the combination of biofuel and vehicle electrification.
The goal is to use the ethanol produced by sugar cane in electrification.
Fuel cell (hydrogen) technology generates electricity using ethanol as the power source.
With the project, it will be possible to offer in Brazil a 100% electric vehicle combined with ethanol with low CO2 emissions, absorbed by planting sugar cane.
In addition to lower cost, the supply of ethanol would allow the use of the existing network of service stations, which would facilitate travel.
artificial intelligence in cars
In Japan, Nissan has a research center that serves as a knowledge forum, constantly updating understanding of the operating environment and looking at how the future may unfold.
It also functions as a point of innovation, deploying concepts and technologies that lead to value creation.
The center is equipped for prototyping, testing and evaluation in different research areas.
“Over the last few years, we have developed a strong AI expertise that we now proudly apply to our cutting-edge innovation projects,” said Reed.
In the Nissan Americas region (of which Nissan South America is a part), the company drives innovation in three broad areas.
- Products and Technologies: Expand the range of vehicles and introduce human-centric technologies to deliver superior value, more exciting experiences, while also being more accessible.
- Electric Vehicle Competitiveness: Driven by advancing battery technologies, improving propulsion systems, and optimizing industrial strategies. While battery cost reductions will dramatically change the pricing dynamics of electric vehicles, Nissan is working on multiple levels to make electric vehicles more competitive, including advances in batteries and manufacturing efficiencies.
- Ecosystem: A 360° approach to the EV ecosystem, from charging infrastructure to decarbonizing production and reusing batteries as energy sources.
Nissan investigates the use of brain decoding technology.
Spearhead in Brazil
In South America, Nissan has a research and development team based in Brazil.
Nissan’s research center in Japan, with product engineering support from this South American team, develops solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) that generate electricity using bioethanol as a power source for vehicles.
With the development of new materials for fuel cells in recent years, it has been possible to reduce the size and costs of the SOFC system and expand the use to various types of fuel.
This technology will support the sustainable bioeconomy with low CO2 emissions.
The International Automobile Federation (FIA) recently confirmed the return to South America of Formula E.
The return was ratified through the signing of an agreement between São Paulo and the electric category for the first race in that city in 2023.
The goal of Nissan’s research is to develop personalized and optimized training.
An automotive brain
The company conducts research related to the use of brain decoding technology.
In July 2021, the Japanese manufacturer launched Nissan Brain to Performance, an innovative program focused on exploring, training and developing the brain anatomy and function of its Formula E drivers.
It uses advanced brain imaging and analysis to determine the anatomical specifications of high-performance professional drivers.
The main objective is to develop personalized and optimized training to improve brain functions related to driving and racing.
The initial stage of the program involved a detailed analysis and testing of the brain functions of Formula E drivers, which is compared to “average” drivers who do not compete in that category. All the drivers performed a series of tasks in state-of-the-art driving simulators that recorded their brain activity.
The first results of this research were revealed during the E-Prix in the US city of New York in July, when the Driver Training Program was also tested for the first time on Nissan Formula E drivers, before it was Fully implement in Season 9 (2022/23) – the beginning of the Gen3 era.
Chris Ree, regional senior vice president of research and development for Nissan Americas.
Changes in the brain of pilots
The investigation yielded the following results:
- The brain-stimulated group learned the race track 50% faster than the unstimulated control group.
- The brain-stimulated group improved simulator vehicle control 50% faster than the unstimulated control group.
- Retention of the acquired skill was 22% better for the brain stimulation group.
- Formula E drivers have significantly larger portions of visual and motor control areas, as well as a partially larger thalamus than average drivers. This correlates with higher visuomotor skills, higher general brain coordination, and state awareness.
driver training program
The research is coordinated by scientist Lucian Gheorghe, senior innovation researcher at Nissan Research Center Americas, who studies how to better build the connection between people and Nissan vehicles.
In his presentation at Nissan Innovation Week, Gheorghe said that brains are “incredibly powerful.”
“Without us realizing it, they perform a multitude of critical functions every second we drive our vehicles,” he noted.
Nissan drivers in Formula E perform these roles under intense pressure and at high speed while constantly seeking faster lap times.
The Nissan Brain to Performance program seeks to understand what the electrical activity of their brains is all about.
“In the future, could our cutting-edge research help improve the driving skills of the average driver?” concluded this expert in the field of brain analysis and training.
Neurons at the wheel
Program sessions held at the University of Essex in the UK and the Bio-Tech Campus in Geneva, Switzerland included analysis and testing of the brain functions of Formula E drivers, compared to a control group of average drivers. and not professionals.
All performed a variety of tasks in state-of-the-art driving simulators while their brain activity was monitored and recorded.
The participants were divided into two groups and tested in a professional racing simulator.
They also drove a race track they hadn’t seen before for 10 sessions.
One group was stimulated with a transcranial direct current (Tdcs) device, a form of neuromodulation that uses a low, constant direct current delivered through electrodes on the head, while the other group used the device but was not stimulated.
Based on the analysis of data and brain activity of drivers at different skill levels, Nissan develops a tailor-made driver training program that includes various training protocols.
Protocols for smart driving
The first of the training protocols developed in collaboration with WaveNeuro aims to help Nissan Formula E drivers focus faster and easier for longer periods of time.
The training involves the use of a transcranial magnetic stimulation (tMS) device prior to simulator training and activity on the race track for set periods of time.
This non-invasive neurostimulation technology should achieve faster alpha-band connectivity and more stability, putting the brain in a state that is easy to focus and perform.
The second of the protocols involves the use of a transcranial direct current stimulation device tuned for Nissan by PlatoScience, which aims to increase attention levels during longer and more intense sessions.
If drivers can use the device at various intervals during race weekend, especially during a weekend where heat and jet lag can play a big factor in driver performance, then perhaps it can help them concentrate more efficiently.