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Nissan To Bring Range-Extending Tech To America And Transform A Mainstream Model Into An EV

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Electrification is auto industry’s latest favorite buzzword and a number of companies have recently announced plans to offer an assortment of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles.

 

A number of these models will be sold alongside conventionally-powered counterparts but Nissan is taking a gamble as it has announced plans to make one of its mainstream models available exclusively with an electric powertrain.  There’s no word on which model will make the switch but Nissan North America’s vice president of product planning, Michael Bunce, recently told Car and Driver the vehicle will arrive sometime between 2023 and 2025.

Bunce was coy on specifics but said “At some point you have to say: ‘Okay, my technology’s mature enough, I’ve learned enough, it’s ready enough, consumer acceptance is there,’ and we’re willing to take the risk on some major nameplates and transition them over.”  While the company is obviously optimistic, it remains to be seen whether customers will be willing to accept a mainstream vehicle that is now available exclusively with an electric powertrain.

The switch won’t happen overnight but Nissan should get an idea how consumers respond to electrification as the company is planning to bring its ePower range-extending technology to America.

The system mimics models such as the Chevrolet Volt and BMW i3 REx as it uses a small engine which acts as a generator.  When the battery becomes low, the engine activates to recharge it and extend the vehicle’s range.  This gives the vehicle all of the benefits of a conventionally-powered model while also increasing its performance and efficiency thanks to electric power.

Automotive News spoke to Nissan’s chief planning officer who suggested the technology could be offered on some on the company’s higher-end models as they can better absorb the costs associated with the powertrain.  There’s no word on specifics but possible choices include the Maxima, Murano, and Pathfinder as they all have starting prices in excess of $30,000.

 

 

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Huawei’s Tech Can Charge A Phone Battery To 48% In 5 Minutes

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Earlier this week, Huawei published a YouTube video demonstrating a relatively new quick charging technology developed by its own Watt Lab division, capable of recharging 48 percent of a smartphone’s battery in just 5 minutes. There are, however, a couple of caveats, and for starters, it must be stressed that this isn’t really a new technology. Huawei’s Watt Lab actually developed this solution back in 2015 and the recent YouTube video even contains some older footage. But with MWC now being just around the corner, the reason why Huawei may have brought this technology back into the spotlight could be that the company intends on introducing it to a wider audience at the upcoming event in Barcelona, Spain.

Another aspect that needs to be considered is the fact that, judging by Huawei’s demonstration, the solution requires a smartphone equipped with a user-removable battery. In fact, the demonstration seems to have been made using a custom battery featuring additional connectors, which is one way to achieve faster charging. And thirdly, the video makes no mention of the demo unit’s battery capacity, though according to previous reports from a couple of years ago, the unit should be able to hold a 3,000mAh charge. Nevertheless, Huawei’s latest video claims that this new quick charging technology represents a major breakthrough, and the solution is expected to be employed by a wide variety of product categories, ranging from the usual smartphones and laptops to mobile power banks, and even electric vehicles. With that in mind, it seems that Huawei’s solution may have been further refined over the past couple of years and it might now be ready for commercialization.

 

CES 2018 Complete Wrap Up – Everything You Need To Know! All the News and more! Click here to read about all the latest Announcements!

 

As far as smartphones are concerned, it’s evident that most devices today feature a unibody or enclosed design with a non-removable battery. Even Samsung eventually made the switch to an enclosed design with the past couple generations of its Android flagships. Having said that, it’s highly improbable for smartphone designs to make a comeback to user-removable batteries for the sake of a better quick charging solution anytime soon, but over the past few years, Huawei’s Watt Lab could have shrunken the technology enough to be employed by today’s unibody handsets. Only time will tell whether that’s the case, and perhaps Huawei will provide more answers at MWC in late February when the company is also expected to unveil its AI-focused P11 flagship that may also be marketed as the P20.

 

 

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