Nissan e-NV200

After years of testing, the production Nissan e-NV200 is finally revealed at the ongoing Geneva show. The van’s all-electric drivetrain is based on that used in the Nissan Leaf. When sales start in June, it will be offered as a van or a five-seater in Combi or more luxurious Evalia guises.

Apparently it isn’t simply an NV200 with an electric powertrain plonked into it – more than 30% of the e-NV200’s parts are unique. There are visual changes, a re-engineered chassis, interior revisions, a new battery pack and higher-capacity regenerative braking, amongst others.

It gets Nissan’s ‘EV face’ – familiar from the Leaf. The charging flap in the nose is flanked by unique crescent-shaped headlamps (LED on passenger models) that contain blue-tinted arrow-like position lamps. All versions get LED tail lamps, and the ‘electric blue’ theme extends to the badging.

The battery can be recharged overnight using a domestic single-phase 16 A, 3.3 kW supply, or in four hours if a 32 A, 6.6 kW supply is used. Use a CHAdeMO DC 50 kW quick charger (more than 1,000 of these have been installed across Europe) and the battery goes from zero to 80% charged in 30 minutes.

The Nissan e-NV200’s homologated NEDC range of 170 km is greater than the average 100 km daily driving distance of over half the fleets who use this class of van, Nissan says. The regular NV200’s payload and 4.2-cubic metre cargo area carries over.

The Leaf’s independent front MacPherson struts and second-gen 80 kW AC synchronous motor features here; the latter is now fully integrated with the battery charger and inverter. The lithium-ion battery has been changed to allow it to fit under the e-NV200’s floor without compromising cargo space, while retaining the 48 modules and 24 kWh capacity.

The battery is located in a reinforced zone low in the vehicle. Its mounting assembly helps boost the torsional and lateral stiffness of the vehicle by 20 and 35% respectively over the regular NV200. Due to the instant torque delivery, Nissan says the e-NV200 sprints to 100 km/h from rest quicker than the 1.5 dCi-powered NV200.

Step aboard and you’ll find a new instrument panel with a digital read-out – showing vehicle speed, range and charge state – while a power meter shows the state of motor output/regeneration. In place of the Leaf’s joystick-like gear lever is a simplified unit that shifts like a conventional automatic.

‘Real-world’ tests have taken place in Japan and Europe, with pre-production models handed over to companies such as FedEx, Coca-Cola, DHL, Ikea, British Gas and the Japan Post Office to operate as part of their everyday fleets. Feedback was collected and used to fine-tune the vehicle before series production began in Barcelona.