While Nissan has reportedly invested over a billion dollars into electric vehicles, so far the Nissan Leaf is the only model they’re selling. But come next year, the all-electric Nissan e-NV200 delivery van is set to go into production, and it could have big implications for commercial fleet owners.
The Nissan e-NV200, which debuted at last year’s Detroit Auto Show, is basically a Nissan Leaf with the body of a van. The e-NV200 has the same 110-horsepower electric motor and 24 kWh battery pack, though it is likely less aerodynamic and heavier than the Leaf, which will affect the range. But for local business owners with drivers who never stray far from home, the e-NV200 could drastically cut the costs of doing business, though it probably won’t get much more than 70 miles per charge if you factor in a full payload.
This is the first commercial electric vehicle from Nissan (unless you count the NYC Leaf taxicabs), and its best chance of success is in Europe, where fuel prices are often over $8.00 a gallon. Not only that, but many European governments offer generous tax incentives and grants to buy electric vehicles. That said, this is Nissan’s second delay for e-NV200 production.
Though Nissan Leaf sales have really started to surge, the Japanese automaker could hit a serious sweet spot with commercial EV sales. Though the mass market for commuter EVs hasn’t exactly caught fire, commercial electric vehicles could arrive at a time when gas prices are eeking upwards and concerns about global oil consumption.
Nissan plans to follow up the e-NV200 with the NT400-based box truck with Leaf’s electric motor but 87 miles of range, about 20% more than the Leaf. If the commercial EV market takes off, Nissan will be ready to pounce.