2021 Nissan Kicks e-Power EV debuts with an onboard generator

The 2021 Nissan Kicks e-Power is a different type of electric vehicle. Although based on the gasoline-powered Kicks crossover, it has an electric motor and compact battery pack to offer all-electric propulsion. When the battery runs out of juice, it has a small combustion engine to charge the batteries, essentially acting like an onboard power generator.

In our mind, this makes it better than the all-electric Nissan Leaf, but Nissan has a new ace up its sleeve: The e-Power technology allows the gasoline engine to directly power the front wheels during hard acceleration or when climbing steep gradients. But as you decelerate, the engine stops running, and regenerative power kicks in – pun intended – to feed the battery pack.

The new Nissan Kicks e-Power has a gutsy 1.2-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine under the bonnet. It also has a single EM57 electric motor and a 1.57 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. With a combined output of 127 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque, the Kicks e-Power offers more grunt than the regular model. Nissan has yet to specify the combined range, but we bet it'll go farther than most EVs.

On the styling front, the Kicks e-Power is embellished with Nissan's V-motion grille, a floating roof design with a wrap-around visor, boomerang headlights and taillights with LED technology, and a blacked-out C-pillar. The interior receives a 7.0-inch infotainment display, a new steering wheel, and new seats. Standard safety features include intelligent forward collision warning, cruise control, emergency braking, blind-spot warning, rear-cross traffic alert, and an intelligent rearview mirror among other things.

The Nissan Kicks e-Power recently debuted in Thailand, which is the first country to produce Nissan's e-Power technology outside Japan. "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.

"The modern and robust design in the vehicle complements its advanced e-POWER technology, and the powerful combination of style, comfort, standout design, and Nissan Intelligent Mobility technologies will inspire customers in Thailand to see how Nissan is embracing new possibilities."

However, we have no word if Nissan will bring the Kicks e-Power to America. But in Thailand, the base model starts at around $27,000 while the top-of-the-line VL trim is around $33,000 (before tax incentives). Nissan is backing it all up with a 10-year battery warranty and a 5-year warranty on the electric system.