A curious pair of photos were sent to us by reader Soo Pek Tea, which show a Nissan Note e-Power running on the NKVE and wearing trade plates. The car is a Japanese domestic model (as indicated by the oval labels on the rear windscreen denoting its fuel efficiency performance) in range-topping Medalist trim.

Could Edaran Tan Chong Motor (ETCM) be testing this non-plug-in range extender electric vehicle for a possible Malaysian launch? It could be – the company did say that it has plans to introduce e-Power models, although sales and marketing director Chris Tan categorically ruled the Note out of being one of those models. Of course, this could simply be a grey import being driven around with temporary plates.

To recap, the Note e-Power is powered by a 109 PS/254 Nm electric motor from the previous Leaf, getting its juice from a 79 PS/103 Nm 1.2 litre HR12DE three-cylinder engine. This petrol mill is there solely to act as a generator – it isn’t connected to the driven wheels – and there’s no plug-in socket to charge the battery up. Nissan says that the system allows drivers to enjoy the benefits of an electric motor – such as maximum torque from standstill – without the range anxiety that comes with a typical EV.

The presence of the range extender also means that the battery can be made much smaller (just 1/20th the size of the one in the Leaf), enabling it to be placed under the front seats to maintain interior space. All-in-all, the Note e-Power delivers a fuel economy figure of up to 37.2 km per litre on the Japanese JC08 cycle.

GALLERY: Nissan Note e-Power at GIIAS 2017