Nissan says it is in the final development phase of its second mass-production electric vehicle (EV), the e-NV200 compact van, scheduled for launch in 2014.
According to the company, EVs are ideal for urban delivery applications, which is the primary market envisaged for this vehicle. The limited range typical of most EVs is not a major drawback in such service.
The e-NV200, which adapts Leaf running gear, is said to offer a breakthrough type of mobility for entrepreneurs, featuring both efficiency and environmental benefits.
"The e-NV200 will offer all the spaciousness, versatility and practicality of a traditional diesel or gas-powered compact van, but with zero CO2 or other pollutant emissions at the point of use," said Hideto Murakami, corporate vice-president of Nissan.
It also promises enviably-low running costs – a priority for most companies – which will be an attractive selling point in the commercial-vehicle marketplace.
So far the EV has received positive comments for its quiet, comfortable driving, zero tailpipe emissions, low noise and generous carrying capacity, the company reports. That feedback will help Nissan adapt future battery-powered light commercial vehicles to fulfill customer requirements.
Business-friendly features include an advanced telematics system and power-supply function in the cargo compartment.
When e-NV200 production begins it will become Nissan's second all-electric vehicle, along with the Leaf. The company is already investigating further EV applications in the commercial vehicle market , including an e-NT400, which is based on the European NT400Cabstar, also known as NT400 Atlas in Japan. That vehicle is still in its development phase but plans for production are being studied.
"As well as e-NV200, Nissan is developing a number of vehicles that adapt a diverse range of EV technologies," according to Hideto Murakami, Nissan corporate vice-president responsible for the Global LCV Business Unit.
The all-electric e-NV200 compact van is scheduled for launch in 2014.