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Nissan to switch on e-NV200 in 2013

Green with NV: Nissan will return to the van market in Australia next year with the NV200, but no official confirmation yet on whether the all-electric e-NV200 version (left) will also be coming.

Electric compact van given production go-ahead at Nissan’s Spanish plant next year

28 May 2012

NISSAN has announced that its all-electric e-NV200 will go into production in 2013, paving the way for the battery-powered compact van to follow in the wheel-tracks of the pioneering Nissan Leaf hatchback around the world, including Australia.

Although the electric version of Nissan’s mass-selling van has not been officially confirmed for this country, Nissan Australia says it plans to offer a full suite of electric vehicles, “including commercial vehicles”.

Nissan’s Barcelona plant in Spain has been selected for production of the e-NV200, which shares the Leaf’s 80kW/280Nm electric powertrain and lithium-ion battery pack.

The driving range is said to be the same as the Leaf, which can travel between 100km and 170km depending on the speed, load and conditions.

No date has been indicated for the introduction of the e-NV200 into Australia, but it almost certainly will be launched as part of the broader NV200 range that is under consideration for this country.

Former Nissan Australian managing director Dan Thompson told GoAuto at the Geneva motor show in March that he viewed the e-NV200 as an integral part of the NV200 van range.

Nissan Australia is getting set to begin deliveries of its Leaf next month, with a price-tag of $51,500 (plus on-road costs).

Nissan says it has sold 100,000 NV200s globally since it was introduced in 2009 in Japan and Europe, ahead of China and North America.

12 center imageIn the latter, the NV200 has been selected as the new-generation New York City taxi for 10 years from 2013. Although the taxis will be powered by a conventional 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, some are expected to be trialed with an electric powertrain at a later date.

Although the NV200 is assembled at five Nissan factories around the world, including Japan, Mexico and China, the Barcelona plant of Nissan Motor Iberica won the right to build the EV model alongside its conventional NV200 range.

The €100 million ($A127m) investment will result in an additional 700 jobs at the plant, where the e-NV200 will start production in the 2013 financial year, which starts on April 1, 2013.

Announcing the plan, Nissan executive vice-president Andy Palmer said the e-NV200 represented a genuine breakthrough in commercial vehicles, and further underlined Nissan’s leadership within the electric vehicle segment.

“The new model will offer all the spaciousness, versatility and practicality of a traditionally powered compact van, but with zero CO2 emission at the point of use and also provide an outstanding driving experience that is unique to EVs,” he said.

“Crucially, it will also offer class-leading running and maintenance costs, which makes it an exceptionally attractive proposition to both businesses and families.”

The e-NV200 will be built in both cargo and passenger variants, and the company says the cargo area will be unaffected by the battery storage requirements of the EV version.

Nissan says final specifications for the e-NV200 range will be locked in after extensive trials now underway in Europe.

“Feedback will help Nissan to fulfill exact customer requirements ahead of the start of production expected in FY13,” Nissan said in its official statement.

The Japanese company said the e-NV200 would make a significant contribution to Nissan’s aim of becoming the world’s largest LCV manufacturer by 2016 – a key pillar of the Nissan Power 88 plan to grab eight per cent of the global auto market.

Last year Nissan sold more than a million light-commercial vehicles globally.

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