You know Nissan’s Leaf; you also likely know of Nissan’s NV200 commercial vehicle. Nissan is now launching an electric version of the NV200, called e-NV200, which combines the electric drivetrain architecture of the Leaf to its commercial vehicle.
The e-NV200 thus becomes the company’s second 100 percent electric vehicle.
Nissan stated as a commercial vehicle the e-NV200 promises to take on an even greater role in reducing emissions and improving air quality as it operates day and night with van and taxi fleets in city centers.
The company insists the e-NV200 is far more than a simple conversion of an existing conventionally powered vehicle as the company said it has significantly re-engineered and re-styled NV200 for its new role. And although it does use a number of key elements from LEAF and NV200, some 30 percent of its components are unique to e-NV200. There are styling changes, a re-engineered chassis, interior revision, a new battery pack and a higher capacity regenerative braking system.
When European sales start later this month, the e-NV200 will be available as a compact but capacious and practical van or as a five-seat passenger vehicle in Combi or more luxurious Evalia versions, depending on the market, said Nissan.
Nissan said it recognizes running costs are the number one priority for most fleet operators and stated the e-NV200 has been developed to help the business equation. Planned maintenance costs are 40 percent lower and without engine oil, belts, gearbox or clutch there are fewer parts to be checked or replaced. Fuel costs are also significantly lower, with diesel costing three or four times as much as electricity for 100 km (62 miles) of driving.
There will also be dedicated taxi versions of e-NV200 on the market, a vehicle built to comply with specific, and invariably different, regulations in capital cities. The first European city to adopt e-NV200 as part of its taxi fleet will be the vehicle’s home city of Barcelona, Spain.
In fact, Nissan also stated the e-NV200 is built exclusively in Barcelona for global sale. It will be produced in Spain alongside the NV200, using lithium-ion battery cells produced at Nissan’s battery plant in Sunderland, UK. The battery packs themselves are made in Barcelona to a unique design for the e-NV200.
“The engineering changes we have made have produced much more than a good electric van… it is a fantastic van by any standards. Drivers will want to get behind the wheel of e-NV200 not just because it produces no emissions, but also because it is so good to drive – the ride comfort, the acceleration, the refinement and the ease of use are all far ahead of what they are used to,” said Guillaume Carter, senior vice president, Sales and Marketing for Nissan Europe.
Nissan explained the e-NV200 has a homologated NEDC range of 106 miles – considerably more than the average 100 km (62 miles) daily driving distance of 70 percent of the fleets using compact vans in their businesses. In Europe 35 percent of this category of van never travel more than 120 km (75 miles) per day in the life of the van. Also, the cargo area is identical to the diesel-powered NV200 and the payload capacity is even greater than its diesel cousin with up to 770 kg possible.
The battery can be recharged overnight in 8 hours using a European domestic 16-amp single-phase 3.3 kilowatt charger, with this reduced to four hours if the optional 6.6 kilowatt / 32-amp charger is used, added Nissan. Alternatively, a dedicated CHAdeMO DC 50 kilowatt quick charger can recharge the battery to 80 percent capacity in 30 minutes or less if the battery still holds some charge, meaning that e-NV200 can be charged while it is being loaded with goods for another delivery, for example.
“There is change in the air,” said Jean-Pierre Diernaz, director of Electric Vehicles for Nissan Europe. “Europe’s cities are introducing ever stringent restrictions on emissions. London already has a congestion charge zone based on emissions while the city’s Mayor is preparing for the introduction of an Ultra Low Emission Zone by 2020. Paris has this year prevented vehicles driving into its centre in a bid to cut pollution. Diesels, meanwhile, are coming under increased scrutiny for their NOx and particulate emissions. As the growth in sales of Nissan LEAF proves, this is the time of the zero-emission vehicle. Nissan e-NV200 takes us into a completely different market segment and will help cement our position as the global leader in electric vehicle technology. We believe e-NV200 will genuinely change the make-up of light van and taxi fleets as well as changing the environment in the heart of our cities. All of the 200,000 vans sold per year which never cover more than 100 km (62 miles) a day in their lifetime, could be replaced by e-NV200 without ever needing to stop to refuel during their working day. This simple fact, combined with the low running costs, capabilities and comfort make this a truly game-changing vehicle.”