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Nissan prepares electric NV200 minivan

Wed, 17 Oct 2012

The commercial sector could be getting a jolt of electricity from Nissan in late 2013. The company is testing all-electric versions of the NV200 minivan with the aim of offering the vehicles in taxi and delivery van models.

The NV200 runs the same powertrain as the Nissan Leaf. It draws propulsion from a 24-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that powers an 80-kilowatt AC synchronous motor rated at 107 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque.

Called the e-NV200, Nissan officials say the electric capability is particularly useful for commercial vehicles, which often are loaded in warehouses. The reasoning is an EV can go farther into a building without worry of exhaust fumes,

Three prototypes are being tested, including one that's been in use by FedEx since December. Production is expected to begin at a factory in Barcelona, Spain, late next year.

The Nissan NV200 has been selected as the taxi of choice for a number of major cities, including New York (where it won the Taxi of Tomorrow competition and will launch in 2013) and London.

Automakers are increasingly looking to the commercial vehicle sector for ways to add environmentally friendly products. The e-NV200 could compete against vehicles such as the electric-powered Ford Transit Connect.

By Greg Migliore