Nissan’s e-POWER electrified powertrain, available in the Serena minivan, has been named Technology of the Year for 2019 by the Automotive Researchers' and Journalists' Conference of Japan.
RJC announced the award today, following a final round of voting for its annual Car of the Year awards on Nov. 13.
“Nissan created an electrified vehicle with excellent fuel efficiency at low costs by using existing in-house products to comprise core components such as the engine and battery,” the committee said in a statement. “Taking full advantage of the regenerative brake system, the e-POWER system enables one-pedal operation, easing driver workload and hence making driving more enjoyable.”
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.
Because the wheels are driven by an electric motor, the e-POWER system treats drivers to 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, 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 as part of its Nissan Intelligent Mobility vision for changing how cars are powered, driven and integrated into society.