Nissan’s electric-powered e-NV200 vehicle will first be tested in the U.S. by FedEx before being distributed across the country.

FedEx Express and Nissan made the announcement today, January 22, at the Washington Auto Show, stating the two companies will begin testing the Nissan e-NV200, a 100 percent electric compact cargo vehicle, under real world conditions in Washington, D.C.

This test marks the first time the vehicle will be running in North America.

FedEx Express and Nissan have conducted similar e-NV200 tests with fleets in Japan, Singapore, the United Kingdom and Brazil.

FedEx explained rotating the Nissan e-NV200 into the delivery fleet is part of the FedEx EarthSmart program, a global sustainability platform designed to guide the company’s environmental commitment in the communities where it operates.

For Nissan, this effort aligns with its “Blue Citizenship” corporate social responsibility program with a focus on increasing the number of vehicles that emit no greenhouse gases by exploring additional vehicle segments where its leading electric vehicle technology may be applied.

FedEx said it will deploy the Nissan e-NV200 in the Washington, D.C. area, where it will undergo field tests that subject it to the routine requirements of a delivery vehicle. The results will be used to help determine the viability of using an electric vehicle in this role in the U.S.

The Nissan e-NV200 is scheduled to begin mass production later this year in Europe.

Following the Leaf, the e-NV200 will be the second EV that Nissan markets globally.

Nissan explained the 100 percent electric model offers the same versatility, functionality and roominess as its gasoline-powered sibling. The e-NV200 uses a powertrain based on the one found on the Leaf and the same lithium-ion battery. The e-NV200 can be charged up to 80 percent of its full capacity in less than 30 minutes when equipped with a quick charge port and using a fast charger.

This is not the first venture into electric vehicles for FedEx as FedEx Express currently has 167 electric vehicles and 365 hybrid electric vehicles in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and China, including the units that will be deployed in Brazil starting in January.

By the end of this fiscal year (May 31, 2014), the company said it plans to increase these numbers to 222 and 393, respectively. From 2005 to 2012, the introduction of this type of vehicle in the fleet enabled the company to save nearly 2.4 million liters of fuel.