First Look: Nissan eNV200 Concept

Based in part on the Leaf electric car, the Nissan eNV200 Concept converts the company's not-yet-released small commercial van to all-electric power.

To covert the NV200 van, Nissan borrowed heavily from its groundbreaking Leaf. The eNV200 uses the Leaf's 24-kW-h battery pack and 80-kW, 107-horsepower, 207-lb-ft AC synchronous electric motor and single-speed reduction gearbox to drive the front wheels. Nissan claims it will have a driving range similar to the Leaf's, though given the van's larger size and weight and less aerodynamic form, that will be difficult.

That's not to say that Nissan has fitted a new drivetrain and called it a day. The company has also modified the front end of the standard NV200 with a covered charging port similar to the Leaf's, and dressed it up with the Leaf's blue Nissan badge and Leaf-like headlights. Inside, the eNV200 features a new dash with an EV-specific gauge cluster with features like remaining range and other telematics. The center stack features a large touch-screen display designed to mimic a tablet computer such as the iPad.

The eNV200 Concept is, for now, a "potential mass production vehicle." Nissan's already begun real-world testing with a prototype, placing it in the hands of the Japan Post Service and FedEx's London operations to gain feedback. While the van hasn't been confirmed for production, Nissan has made a strong commitment to increasing its EV portfolio, and with competition from Ford's Transit Connect EV prototype, we expect the eNV200 to find its way to the market in the near future.

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