Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. will the Nissan Serena e-POWER, a new version of the popular minivan featuring the company’s e-POWER electric drive system (earlier post), at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show. The Serena e-POWER will be Nissan’s second model to feature the technology.
e-POWER borrows from the EV technology in the Nissan LEAF. Unlike the all-battery-electric powertrain of the LEAF, e-POWER adds a small gasoline engine to charge the small, high-output battery when necessary, eliminating the need for an external charger while offering the same high-output.
|Fully integrated e-POWER system with compact battery (at left). Click to enlarge.|
e-POWER delivers massive torque almost instantly, which enhances drive response and results in smooth acceleration. Also, the system operates very quietly, much like a full EV. The gasoline engine of the e-POWER system is strictly for electrical power generation with minimal influence from the opening and closing of the throttle, allowing the engine to always operate in its optimum condition. This results in excellent fuel efficiency.
Further, because e-POWER relies on the engine much less frequently, its fuel efficiency is comparable to that of leading conventional hybrids, especially during around-the-town commutes, Nissan says.
In e-POWER Drive mode, the driver can accelerate and decelerate using only the throttle pedal, significantly reducing the necessity to move his or her foot to depress the brake pedal—i.e., one-pedal driving.
e-POWER was first introduced in November 2016, when the Nissan Note e-POWER was launched in Japan. The Note e-POWER couples a 1.2-liter, three-cylinder HR12DE engine with a 1.5 kWh battery pack and the EM57 traction motor from the LEAF.
There are three driving modes in the Note e-POWER: Normal, S and Eco. In Normal, the car produces excellent acceleration off the line and stopping power (lifting off the acceleration pedal) that’s on par with the braking of its conventional gasoline-powered counterparts. In S, the car accelerates even quicker with enhanced stopping power. In Eco, the car goes into gasoline-saving mode by regulating the battery power.
The Serena is already known for its spacious interior and smooth ride. With e-POWER, it will also offer the powerful, responsive acceleration of an electric-drive vehicle, along with above-its-class quietness and excellent fuel efficiency.
The latest iteration of ProPILOT, Nissan’s single-lane autonomous driving technology for highway use, will also be available in the Serena e-POWER.
The Serena e-POWER features a blue-accented badge on the grille, as well as custom LED tail lights and aerodynamically designed aluminum wheels. These and other visual cues convey the Serena e-POWER’s exciting performance and advanced feel. Inside the vehicle, second-row passengers will be able to enjoy captain seats, also with blue accents, for greater comfort and convenience.
The Serena e-POWER is scheduled to go on sale in Japan in the spring of 2018.