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"TINO" - OBJECT OF SELECTION

Nissan conducts field tests of 20 hybrid cars at once.

Alexey VOROBYEV-OBUKHOV

The basis for them was the Tino minivan. The choice was not accidental: its layout allows you to rationally arrange the elements of the new power unit and batteries. The heart of the whole system is a 1.8 liter gasoline engine with a flexible CVTC valve opening time control system. There is also an electric motor, the power of which is enough to start and drive at low speed (for example, in city traffic jams). With intense acceleration, the electric motor will greatly benefit the gasoline counterpart. The brakes of the car are also hybrid, as it were: if it’s not an emergency stop, the kinetic energy is not converted into useless heat, but into electric current, charging a supercompact lithium-ion battery.

The lithium-ion battery has been developed relatively recently and is characterized by the use of lithium manganese acid as a cathode instead of expensive cobalt. Despite the relative cheapness of this material, the battery retained extremely high energy density and durability: the mass of the hybrid car increased by only … 100 kg compared to the standard one! And placing a compact battery under the floor of the body lowered the center of gravity of the Tino and had a beneficial effect on its driving performance.

The recharging process is constantly monitored by the computer, and if the braking energy is not enough, a second motor-generator located directly on the ICE shaft is turned on. As an engine, it is used quite often - to start a gasoline engine that automatically turns off at each stop.