eNV200 Driven ahead of production later this year

NV200 ElectricWe recently headed to Spain and had a quick look and drive in the latest NV200 from Nissan. Updated with the Leaf hardware, the all-electric e-NV200 resembles the concept Nissan debuted two years ago in Detroit. Prreparing the Leaf’s powertrain for this required Nissan to reshape the 24-kWh lithium-ion battery pack to fit underneath the flat floor, without any intrusion or reductions in cargo volume versus the diesel-powered NV200. Nissan says the battery’s low center of gravity, along with structural reinforcements to protect it during an impact, increase torsional rigidity by 20 percent over the regular van. The 80-kW electric motor, which bundles a 6.6-kW onboard charger and power inverter into one unit, carries over intact save for more aggressive regenerative braking, which Nissan says will return greater efficiency given the van’s citified intentions. Compared to the acceleration of the 1.5-liter diesel-powered van offered in Europe, Nissan promises quicker acceleration but isn’t quoting official times. Nissan estimates a 106-mile range.

 

Visually, the e-NV200 is a van. Look closer, and you’ll notice the grille is sealed shut with a solid, body-colored front fascia and a central charging port. Blue-tinted headlamps with LED accent lamps, bluish badges, optional two-tone aluminum wheels and clear taillamp lenses round out the exterior changes. Inside, the e-NV200 adapts the Leaf’s black-trimmed center stack in a more upright stance, complete with automatic climate control, push-button start and a traditional PRND shifter instead of the Leaf’s hockey-puck design. The instrument cluster goes all-digital, with a round color central speedometer and power gauge, plus a monochrome battery-level display to the right.

Nissan has been testing e-NV200 prototypes in Europe and Japan since the concept’s introduction, and when production begins in Barcelona this year, there will be no immediate plan to offer it in the U.S we’re told. Currently, Nissan has two electric vans whirring about the states on short-term loans, including one with FedEx in the Washington, D.C.


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