Story: COLIN DAWSON
An all-electric version of Nissan’s NV200 van will go into production towards the end of year. Nissan yesterday confirmed manufacture of the e-NV200 at the Hannover show after a theatrical unveiling of the zero-emission vehicle, which is an amalgamation of the Nissan LEAF and the conventional NV200 van. The front end shows a clear family resemblance to the LEAF with the charging point door at the front of the vehicle, but from the A-pillar rearwards the van is regular NV200.
Power is supplied by a lithium-ion battery made up of 48 compact modules and an 80kW AC synchronous motor that generates 280Nm of torque. The silent, zero-emission motor delivers maximum torque from standstill, which is said to provide instant acceleration. Range is almost 100 miles (160km) on a full charge.
Owing to the positioning of the compact batteries under the load space floor – which also helps to lower the vehicle’s centre of gravity – the e-NV200 maintains the same carrying capacity as the conventional NV200. The van has a load volume of 4.2cu m with the capability of carrying two standard Euro pallets between the rear wheel arches and its 2m cargo length allows it to can carry 20 Euro-standard boxes.
A ‘Quick Charge’ capability is said to allow operators to recharge the battery to 80 per cent capacity in 30 minutes, ensuring minimal downtime – vital for a working vehicle. And operating expenses should be cheaper as a result of lower fuel costs and reduced regular maintenance requirements.
The e-NV200 will also be able to harness the energy stored in its battery to power electric tools and equipment up to 6,000W. A suitably equipped e-NV200 could, for example, become a mobile restaurant for outdoor events, or serve as a mobile workshop.
Introducing the vehicle, Hideto Murakami, Corporate vice president, Nissan Motor Co, and head of the Global LCV Business Unit, said: “The feedback we have received from drivers and operators using the vehicles as part of their everyday routine has already given us vital information which we will incorporate into the production version to ensure it meets, indeed exceeds, all their needs and requirements.”
Prototype testing, which began in 2011, will continue through 2013. A number of converted battery-powered NV200s have been loaned to collection-and delivery companies including the Japan Post Service and FedEx. These and other companies, including British Gas and Royal Mail in the UK, have been using the vehicles as part of their regular fleets in cities.
Murakami said: “The arrival of a practical and, more to the point, realistic zero-emission delivery vehicle will not only improve the quality of urban life but thanks to low running costs will also help ease the economic burdens placed on companies.”
Its complete lack of emissions and low noise would allow business van users to operate the vehicle for deliveries and other transport requirements in central city locations – even inside shopping malls – and around the clock.
Keep up to date with developments in our Business Van News section.