What do you get when you cross a Nissan Leaf with a small commercial van? Well, you get more or less the bastard child of the NV200 and the Leaf, unimaginatively named the “eNV200,” on display at Detroit this week. Questions of naming aside, it actually ended up looking pretty neat.
Nissan’s decision to convert the commercial van to electric isn’t entirely without precedent; a number of commercial electric vehicles have hit the streets all over the world, and it was really only a matter of time. The eNV200 is, however, the cutest of the lot, and if you’ve read anything else I’ve ever written, you know that I place a high value on cute.
It Works Pretty Well, Too
Aside from the aesthetics, the 80kW AC synchronous motor and its 207 lb-ft (280 N-m/rpm) of torque should make the van perfectly drivable, and the 24kWh battery pack composed of 48 compact modules is supposed to give it a range comparable to that of the Leaf (although the van is larger and heavier, so I’m not sure how well that will work). Of course, the lack of emissions is also a plus.
Like the Leaf, the van will charge from the front end, and it’s got Leaf-y headlights to complete its outside look. The interior is fitted with EV-specific gauges (hey, knowing how much range you’ve got left is super important) and other advanced telematics. The center display has a touch-screen input that’s supposed to work like a tablet.
Testing Phase, Starting Now
The e-NV200 isn’t slated for mass production yet, but Nissan does believe it would reduce operating costs when compared to combustion engine vehicles – less maintenance, lower fuel costs, and so on. According to Automobile Mag, Nissan’s already started testing the concept by sending prototypes to the Japan Post and FedEx’s London operations.
Hideto Murakami, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.’s corporate vice president did not mention cuteness in Nissan’s press release; instead, he had this to say:
“With its ‘no gas, no tailpipe, no emissions’ powertrain, the Nissan e-NV200 Concept combines a quiet, comfortable driving experience with a large, highly versatile, functional interior space within a compact overall body length. A potential game changing vehicle in its segment, the battery capacity will support a driving range similar to the Nissan LEAF, while payload and cargo space will offer the same level as the current NV200. The production version would be targeted mainly at businesses, but also at private users or families in major regions.
“A vehicle like the Nissan e-NV200 Concept would energize the current compact van market in more ways than one – helping improve the quality of urban life and providing a smart financial investment for large and small businesses alike.”
Like it? More information is available at www.eNV200.com – or chime in in the comments below.
Source | Image: Nissan.