Nissan have always been at the forefront of the electric vehicle lifestyle, primarily down to the success of the Nissan LEAF; and that leadership looks likely to continue with the launch of the e-NV200, the company’s second 100% electric vehicle.
As a commercial vehicle, the launch of the e-NV200 into a world where city centre air quality is taking on more and more significance, an electric van with emission-free running thanks to an advanced battery-powered electric motor is sure to be a hit amongst companies looking to gain green credentials while at the same time make sure that their fleets fit into the ecological plans for inner-city areas.
So the lack of any tail-pipe pollution will have a hugely positive effect on city centre NOx levels at the same time as the e-NV200 fails to add to noise pollution with no noise from the electric motor, and also fails to add to the stress levels of its drivers thanks to its smooth, gear-change-free drivetrain.
“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 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.”
THE NISSAN e-NV200 CREATION
Created by combining the award-winning electric drivetrain from the 2011 World Car of the Year, the Nissan LEAF, with the best-in-class cargo volume and practicality of the Nissan NV200, the 2010 International Van of the Year, the e-NV200 is much much more than a simple conversion of an existing conventionally powered vehicle.
As Nissan’s first ever purely electric LCV, the pressure is on to get it right; and Nissan have made sure that no corners have been cut and no quarter given in the construction of the e-NV200 by significantly re-engineering it and re-styling it ready to enter the commercial world.
Admittedly there are some key elements that have been taken from the LEAF and the NV200 – but when the basis for inspiration is as good as these two are, you don’t mind that. And there are some 30% of components such as styling changes, a re-engineered chassis, interior revision, a new battery pack and a higher capacity regenerative braking system, that are unique to the e-NV200.
The combination of the inspiration and perspiration gives us a range of zero-emission vehicles that Nissan are sure will be able to not only make a significant contribution to future mobility but also to set the standard for ant future manufacturers of small vans, people movers or taxis – a standard not only in the electric vehicle capability to stop further abuse of Mother Nature but also in its cost effectiveness and sustainability.
The e-NV200 is now ready to come to market now having undergone an exhaustive testing programme that included ‘lending’ prototypes to some worldwide companies to test.
THE NISSAN e-NV200 FACTS
The e-NV200 is available either as a compact but capacious and practical van or as a five-seat passenger vehicle in a Combi version.
With the LCV, the e-NV200 boasts a cargo volume identical to the NV200 of 4.2m3 with enough space inside to carry two standard Euro pallets which are easy to get in or out thanks to the sliding side doors on both sides and wide opening rear doors – with an available option of a top hinged single rear door also available.
There is, of course, the low running costs inherent in electric vehicles, especially when it comes to ‘fuel’ (as diesel costs around three or four times as much as electricity for 100 km of driving) and in maintenance (up to 40% lower with fewer parts to be checked or replaced.)
The Nissan e-NV200 has a homologated NEDC range of 106 miles, and when you consider that around 70% of compact vans used in a fleet do less than that in a day, that means that the new Nissan is perfectly suited to the city life for which it has been created. In fact, figures show that throughout Europe, 35% of vans in this category never travel more than 120 km in the life of the van.
Charging will no doubt usually be done overnight with the battery able to be recharged in 8 hours using a domestic 16-amp single-phase 3.3 kW charger, but the e-NV200 can be fully charged in just 4 hours using an optionally fitted 6.6kW/32-amp charger with a suitable supply or charged to 80% capacity in as little as 30 minutes by using a dedicated CHAdeMO DC 50 kW quick charger - the latter being used during loading time at a job if required.
There are now more than 1,100 CHAdeMO quick chargers installed across Europe, with 220 of those in the UK for drivers of the e-NV200 to use, but Nissan are expecting fleet operators that use the e-NV200 to install their own quick chargers at their place of business or works depots, just as Taxi Electric in the Netherlands and C&C Taxis in the UK have done already.
“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.
The e-NV200 is built exclusively in Barcelona alongside the NV200, using lithium-ion battery cells produced at Nissan’s battery plant in Sunderland, with the actual battery packs being made in Barcelona to a unique design for the e-NV200.