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Nissan Serena’s e-POWER system named RJC Technology of the Year

Nissan’s e-POWER electrified powertrain (earlier post), available in the Serena minivan (earlier post), has been named Technology of the Year for 2019 by the Automotive Researchers’ and Journalists’ Conference of Japan (RJC).

The Nissan Serena became the second model equipped with e-POWER in February 2018, following the Nissan Note e-POWER, which was introduced in Japan in November 2016. The e-POWER system combines an electric motor, which drives the wheels, with a gasoline engine that charges the vehicle’s battery.


Serena e-POWER.

Because the wheels are driven by an electric motor, the e-POWER system delivers the powerful, smooth acceleration of an all-electric vehicle, with torque delivery from the system surpassing that of a minivan with a 3.5-liter engine. Used solely to charge the battery, the gasoline engine runs at a constant, optimal speed for maximum fuel efficiency, achieving 26.2 km/L (62 mpg US, 3.8 l/100 km), Nº 1 in its class.

Fun and comfortable to drive, the Serena e-POWER has been a hit in Japan. Since its launch, 40% of Serena buyers have chosen the e-POWER version. In addition to the system’s powerful acceleration, its e-POWER Drive mode offers the convenience of being able to speed up or decelerate by using only the accelerator pedal. Using the e-POWER Drive mode, stress is relieved as brake pedal application decreases by nearly 70%.

With optimized engine management and noise reduction measures throughout the vehicle body, the Serena e-POWER also transcends its class in terms of quietness.

The e-POWER system is a key part of Nissan’s electrification strategy; Nissan plans to launch more e-POWER models globally.



The e-Power system looks like a good sales strategy for Nissan and should expand to other Nissan models as well. My only question is when will Nissan make this system a PHEV.
Toyota has done exceptionally well selling the Prius Prime. FCA will be expanding their current PHEV lineup (currently only Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid which would compete with the Serena e-Power and is the best selling minivan) with new Jeep PHEV planned for 2020.
The Jeep Renegade PHEV will have a 1.3 L turbo with 177 hp and an electric rear axle. The small SUV market looks like a good place for future PHEV.


Amazing 62 mpg (HEV) vehicle. It will compete strongly with other HEVs.

It could probably reach close to 100 empg as a PHEV with much larger battery but the total price would probably go up by $10K to $20K, unless near future batteries price is reduced to below $100/kWh?


Why would the price go up $10k? The Toyota Prius Prime is roughly $4k more expensive than a Toyota Prius, admittedly with a smallish 8.8 kWh battery. In addition The Prius Prime has $4500 incentives and makes up a significant percentage of all Prius sales.


I thought these e-power vehicles would sacrifice performance, but apparently not so bad. I suppose then that the downside to explain why only 40% adoption rate must be the purchase price. I'd suppose they must have to have pretty robust high output battery or maybe a capacitor and that could elevate the price of the vehicle. All in all it looks like a simple sort of vehicle that will get the public used to electric vehicles.

(Previous post says 100,000 e-notes sold in Japan)


Increasing battery size/capacity to go from basic HEV to decent PHEV (from 2 kWh to 42+ kWh) can be very costly ($10+K), add 500 lbs to 800 lbs to the vehicle and add new related manufacturing cost.

A PHEV with smaller batteries and limited all electric range is an acceptable compromise for people with very short trips and charging facilities at both ends.


@harvey, A PHEV doesn't need 40 KWh, it needs 5-10 KwH, Its battery should be sized to the average day's driving (or average journey if you can charge at work), not the maximum.
If you go for a 10 KwH system, you will save loads of fuel without adding too much cost or weight or using up too much boot (trunk) space.
Ideally, you could make a modular battery section where you could select 2, 5, 10 Kwh depending on your requirements.
As it is quite a tall vehicle, there might be space for the extra battery under the floor.

c b

@gryf The alliance has PHEV develop already, it will be launch in 2020 in nissan and renault vehicles, Mitsubishi has the PHEV system which nissan can tap from, which can be adopted to large vehicle and LCV, and Renault and Nissan was developing their own PHEV before, which can be used on A,B,and C segment vehicles.

c b

@Calgarygary the note E-power out sold the prius 2016 and 2017 and is the sales leader in 2018. The number may look small but it a large number in terms of hybrid sales.


And the reason for the Saudi defection from OPEC is now obvious.  The battery now has the upper hand over petroleum, with Japan leading the charge (pun intended).  KSA is going to sell what it can for what it can get and try to delay the changeover, but delay is all it can do; it cannot reverse it.  With advances like the Enevate silicon cathode the momentum is established.

The other thing which could break the momentum is a major recession, but low energy prices militate against one.  With a world-wide economy buoyed by low petroleum prices, forward-thinking buyers will aim for e-POWER or PHEVs as a hedge against a reversal, and forward-thinking governments will encourage such buying as both insulation against short-term oil price increases and as a long-term policy of getting petroleum out of land transport entirely.

I see no sign that Washington has any of that kind of thinking, unfortunately.


Modular plug-in batteries (in 5 kWh modules or so?) could give PHEVs more variable all electric range, to satisfy more users.

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