Nissan has been teasing the electric version of its NV200 commercial cargo van for a long time, but the funky bus has never been available in the U.S. The automaker sent two models to FedEx and other fleet operators to test in the U.S. back in 2014, and the combustion version has been plying its trade on the streets of New York as that city's "Taxi of Tomorrow" for about four years now. The recent news about the coming debut of the ID Buzz in passenger and cargo versions signals that Volkswagen, at least, thinks there's a stateside market for electric vans.
Now comes word that Nissan has boosted the driving range of the newest version of the e-NV200 by nearly two-thirds to 173 miles on a single charge. WardsAuto reports that the e-van's new 40-kWh batters extends range by 60 percent without compromising load space or payload. "With its longer range and excellent cargo capacity, the new e-NV200 is the perfect last-mile delivery solution for urban deliveries and collections," Wards quoted Gareth Dunmore, electric vehicle director for Nissan Europe, as saying at an event in Oslo.
Nissan's U.S. consumer website still lists the e-NV200 as a concept vehicle, complete with a dual glass panel roof, 122 cubic feet of cargo, sliding doors on each side, folding rear seats and room for five passengers. It debuted a seven-seater version in the U.K. in 2015. Nissan also plans to unveil something it's calling the Fridge Concept, which is basically an e-NV200 modified with an additional 12 kWh battery pack in the cargo space to power a refrigeration unit, later this week at the Tokyo Motor Show.
So the e-van's practicalities seem clear. Its compact size, cargo capacity, lack of tailpipe emissions and impressive range would seem to make it a good fit for many U.S. cities looking to green up delivery vehicles.