Among major auto manufacturers, few have been more bullish on pure electric vehicles than Nissan, and its commitment to EVs is going beyond passenger cars and into commercial vehicles. To showcase its commitment to a zero tailpipe emissions future, Nissan announced official series production for the e-NV200 starting in calendar 2013 at the 2012 IAA Commercial Vehicle Expo in Hanover, Germany. As part of its display at the show, Nissan partnered with FedEx Express to showcase an e-NV200 with the company's distinctive purple and orange logo.
The e-NV200 is powered by an AC synchronous motor that produces 107 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque shared with the Leaf. Like the Leaf, the e-NV200 is charged through a charging port in the center of the front end, which is distinguished from the conventional gasoline and diesel-powered NV200 models with a unique aerodynamic panel where the vented grille usually is. To further differentiate the e-NV200 from its hydrocarbon-burning brethren, the front features LED driving lights, and the gauge cluster is unique to the model.
But Nissan made some adaptations specifically for commercial use. The e-NV200 features power outlets allowing users to power electric tools and equipment from the on-board battery pack up to 6000W. Because of its low mounting in the chassis, and the lack of a fuel tank or exhaust system, the e-NV200 has the same 148.3-cubic-foot cargo volume as its conventionally powered counterparts, as well as the same rated payload capacity. Nissan claims the e-NV200 will carry two standard Euro pallets side by side in the cargo area, and the cargo area can accommodate items more than 6 feet long.
Initial field testing on the e-NV200 began in July 2011 with the Japan Post Service. FedEx and Nissan have been working together since December 2011, testing out a fleet of prototype e-NV200s in real-world commercial use to gather valuable data and findings to improve the reliability and functionality of the production versions, which are scheduled to be introduced sometime in calendar 2013.
Nissan first showed the eNV200 concept to the public at the 2012 Detroit auto show. The gasoline-powered NV200 was selected by New York City to be the Taxi of Tomorrow, and also won the 2010 International Van of the Year award, which the new 2013 Ford Transit Custom won this year. The NV200 will be manufactured at several of Nissan's plants worldwide, but European production will be sourced from the company's plant in Barcelona, Spain.