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Monday, June 10, 2013

RM 140++ Nissan Serena Hiybrid

File:Nissan Serena Rider Performance Spec Black Line S-Hybrid.jpgnissan mpv s-hybrid
The Nissan Serena, currently in its fourth generation, is Japan's best selling mid-size multi-purpose vehicle (MPV). Today, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. announced the addition of a new hybrid variant Serena, the Serena S-Hybrid.
Currently, the Serena S-Hybrid is only available in Japan.
The Serena S-Hybrid does not use the performance oriented 'Direct Response one motor, two clutches' currently employed in the Infiniti M35h. That unit is designed for front engine rear wheel wheel drive (FR) applications.
Instead, the Serene S-Hybrid uses a very simple 'micro hybrid' (not even mild) setup. The standard non-hybrid Serena already employs an 'ECO motor' for its engine idle start-stop and brake energy recuperation functions (on-demand alternator).
The Serena S-Hybrid simply uses an upgraded 'ECO motor' and adds a sub battery (lead acid, located in engine compartment) for increased storage capacity.
The 'ECO motor' cannot propel the vehicle on its own nor provide any assistance like a mild hybrid.

Fuel economy gain is only marginal, from 13.8 km/litre (20S 2WD) to 15.2 km/litre (20X S-Hybrid 2WD) under the Japanese JC08 test cycle.
Such micro-hybrid setup may not make much sense overseas but in Japan, there is a good reason to adopt them.
Japan imposes many form of taxes on cars, one of it is weight tax. The heavier a car, the more it will be taxed. At the same time, Japan's fuel economy standards are categorized by weight. If a vehicle exceeds its weight category fuel economy target by a certain level, it qualifies for tax rebates.
This is a loophole commonly exploited by Japanese car makers.
If a 1,700 kg non-hybrid Serena 20S 4WD can improve its current fuel economy from 12.6 km/litre to 13.6 km/litre (20s Highway Star 4WD), it qualifies for a 75 percent reduction in both both automobile acquisition and weight taxes.
Indirectly, it also implies that a car maker has the option to raise the car's price again by loading it up various comfort features, to match or close the price gap with the non-hybrid model.
This explains why the top of the range Serena S-Hybrid Highway Star 4WD is 33,600 Yen cheaper than a non-hybrid 20S 4WD.
Prices for S-Hybrid models range from 2,384,550 Yen to 2,799,300 Yen while non-hybrid models are priced between 2,163,000 Yen to 2,832,900 Yen.
Also, the 4WD mentioned here is not a mechanical 4WD in a conventional sense. 4WD variants are common even among small cars in Japan. The 4WD referred to here is a simple electric motor integrated into the rear axle. They only function at low speeds to free a car from snow for example.


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