As of yesterday, the highly popular Nissan LEAF isn’t the only electric vehicle being mass-produced by Japanese automaker Nissan, thanks to official commencement of e-NV200 production at Nissan’s Factory in Barcelona, Spain.
Produced alongside is gasoline and diesel-powered siblings, the e-NV200 is offered in three different variants: an all-electric two-seat panel van for commercial purposes; a five-seat people-carrying minivan known as the e-NV200 Evalia; and a ‘crew cab’ variant with five seats but a panel-van rear.
Expected to go on sale in Europe next month, the e-NV200 features the same 24-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack found in the Nissan LEAF, along with the same 80 kilowatt electric motor. Although range is expected to be slightly lower than that of the LEAF due to the e-NV200’s larger size, less aerodynamic shape and cargo-carrying capabilities, the e-NV200 also comes with DC quick charging fitted as standard, making it ideal for fleet use.
As part of its preparations to bring the e-NV200 to market, Nissan invited numerous commercial partners to help it in field-testing prototype e-NV200 vans, including UK utility company British Gas and well-known courier company FedEx. After more than two years of in-the-field testing, Nissan says the e-NV200 is ready to take on the market as both a passenger vehicle and a commercial van.
Nissan didn’t just put the e-NV200 through extensive testing. In order to prepare its Barcelona factory for e-NV200 production, Nissan invested €100 million in factory upgrades. For now, the Barcelona facility will be the sole manufacturer of e-NV200 vans, with assembled vehicles being shipped to twenty different markets around the world, including Japan and Europe. While the U.S. is not specifically mentioned, we’d guess the e-NV200 would prove a big hit there with families who want to drive electric, can’t afford a Tesla Model X, and need a little more room and versatility than the Nissan LEAF can provide.
“This is a great landmark day for Nissan, starting production of our second electric vehicle,” said Nissan’s Chief Planning Officer Andy Palmer at a VIP event to mark the start of production. “This is at a time when EVs are now recognized as mainstream technology. Many competitors are only just starting to launch their first EV – where Nissan has clear first mover advantage. We’re proud that the Nissan LEAF is the world’s best-selling electric vehicle with more than 110,000 delighted customers enjoying the quiet and smooth ride of an EV.”
Over the coming months, expect to hear more from the e-NV 200 as it heads to both private and public fleets to be used as everything from a delivery vehicle and maintenance truck through to taxicab and of course, personal family transport.
Of course, we’ll be there at the International press launch event in a few weeks to give you our first impressions of this important vehicle, and we’ll be sure to bring you more information about its features, capabilities and driving feel as soon as we have it.
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