Update: A Nissan spokesman told us today that the company has yet to officialky decide whether the e-NV200 cargo van will be sold in America. Nissan has committed to providing a zero-emissions NV200-based taxi to New York City later this decade. Nissan has no plans to sell a passenger version of the e-NV200 here.
Nissan has confirmed that starting in 2013 it will produce the e-NV200, a compact electric van that will be available both for consumer use and as a delivery vehicle. The van will be built at Nissan's plant in Barcelona, Spain, following a €100 million ($126 million) investment there.
We first saw the e-NV200 as a concept (pictured) at the Detroit auto show. Nissan said the van could pave the way for all-electric delivery vehicles for urban use, and also said the van might be offered with bench seats for transporting families. The e-NV200 uses the same electric drivetrain as the Nissan Leaf: an 80-kW electric motor and a 24-kWh lithium-ion battery. Driving range is expected to be similar to the 73-mile EPA rating of the Leaf.The e-NV200 looks very similar to the Nissan Leaf, and is approximately the same size as a Mazda 5 minivan.
Nissan already has sold about 100,000 copies globally of the fossil fuel-powered NV200, and a modified version of that van has even been chosen as the New York City "Taxi of Tomorrow." The electric e-NV200 is undergoing limited tested in Europe, including as a FedEx delivery van in London.One of the main advantages to an electric delivery van, apart from reduced fuel use and a reduction in tailpipe emissions,is that it will be far quieter than current cargo vans.
The company's ambitious Power 88 plan would see Nissan becoming the world's largest producer of light commercial vehicles by 2016. Last year Nissan sold over a million LCVs globally; ramping up volume of the e-NV200 would help meet the Power 88 goal.
Nissan says that the e-NV200 will be sold in markets around the world, and a Nissan spokesman confirmed to us that the electric van will be sold in the U.S. It's possible cities like New York will eventually adopt the e-NV200 to serve as an electric taxi. Although American-market versions of the gas-powered NV200 are to be produced in Cuernavaca, Mexico, the e-NV200 will only be assembled at the Nissan plant in Barcelona.