Nissan Building Quirky and Cute e-NV200, Starting Next Year

Okay, Gas2 readers, it’s rhetorical question time: Do you remember Nissan’s electric van? The one where it looked like they chopped off the front end of the Leaf and stuck it onto a metal box? (Because that’s more or less what they did.) It seems to be more or less done testing and actually slated for production!

The e-NV200 – Almost Cute, Totally Practical

Nissan has announced that the 100% electric compact van (which is not the same thing as a minivan) will go into production in the Barcelona plant in FY2013. It’s Nissan’s second all-electric vehicle (the first one being (of course) the Leaf, for which Nissan has done absolutely shameless amounts of promoting). Nissan itself says that this underlines its long-term commitment to zero emission mobility, and they definitely get major points for that.

As Nissan guessed a few months ago, the van has a range comparable to that of the Leaf and also delivers what Nissan calls similar performance. I personally suspect it will handle much like a Leaf with a large heavy thing strapped to the roof, but the zero emissions are well worth the potentially less fun drive. Besides, it’s a cargo van. They’re not supposed to be fun to drive. They’re supposed to go from point A to point B, and the e-NV200 should do that less expensively in terms of both monies pumped into maintenance and carbon dioxide pumped into the atmosphere.

Inside the van will, of course, be super spacious and in theory work well to haul around both goods and people.

Only in Barcelona

The e-NV200 will not only start production in Barcelona next year, but it will only be produced in Barcelona. Nissan is investing an initial 41million euros (about $51 million USD), which is a major product investment even for a massive company like Nissan. Nissan also claims this highlights the competitiveness of its Spanish industrial operations, pointing out that it has also allocated a new medium duty truck to its Avila plant (central Spain).

The e-NV200 is also supposed to help Nissan become the world’s largest LCV manufacturer by 2016 – it’s current NV200 line up is already fairly popular (it’s the current New York City Taxi of Tomorrow, for example). If the e-NV200 works as well as its ICE counterpart, it should help Nissan quite a bit. Rigorous testing continues, of course, prior to production.

Andy Palmer, Nissan’s Executive Vice President says of the e-NV200:

“e-NV200 represents a genuine breakthrough in commercial vehicles and further underlines Nissan’s leadership within the electric vehicle segment. The new model will offer all the spaciousness, versatility and practicality of a traditionally powered compact van, but with zero CO2 emission at the point of use and provides outstanding driving experience that is unique to EV’s.

“Crucially, it will also offer class-leading running and maintenance costs which makes it an exceptionally attractive proposition to both businesses and families.

“e-NV200 represents a bold and innovative addition to our commercial vehicle range, which is already one of the broadest of any manufacturer. I would like to thank the Spanish and Catalonian Government for their continued support of Nissan in Spain, and congratulate the Barcelona workforce for earning the right to produce what will be an extremely important model for Nissan globally.”

Questions or comments? Let us know below.

Source | Image: Nissan.

Charis Michelsen

spent 7 years living in Germany and Japan, studying both languages extensively, doing translation and education with companies like Bosch, Nissan, Fuji Heavy, and others. Charis has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and currently lives in Chicago, Illinois. She also believes that Janeway was the best Star Trek Captain.