Nearly a year after it first came off the production line in Barcelona, Spain, Nissan’s all-electric e-NV200 minivan will soon be available to order in Europe with 7-seats.
Announced this morning by Nissan Motors Europe at the start of the 2015 Geneva Auto Show, the all-electric vehicle — previously available in Europe as a commercial two-seat panel van, five-seat crew-cab panel van and five-seat minivan — can now be specced with a third row of seats, increasing the total number of seats from 5 to 7.
Built next to the gasoline and diesel NV200 on the same production line, the e-NV200 offers similar functionality to its fossil-fuel burning sibling, but is powered by the same 24 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack and 80 kilowatt electric motor found in the Nissan LEAF electric car, modified slightly to make it more suitable for the heavier demands of life as a commercial vehicle.
It comes with the same charging functionality as the LEAF too, with 3 kilowatt on-board or 6 kilowatt on-board charging as standard depending on the trim level, along with optional CHAdeMO DC quick charging too.
It’s worth noting too that the NV200 has always been offered with seven seats, due to its different underbody structure and power train. Due to battery pack and power electronic placement in the e-NV200 — under the floor of the vehicle — we understand adding the third row in the electric version presented some extra engineering challenges from a crash test protection point of view.
In Japan, where crash-test requirements are different to Europe, Nissan has been offering a seven-seat e-NV200 in ‘Wagon G’ Trim level since the vehicle was launched there last year.
As with the five-seat variant, the new 7-seat e-NV200, which is available in range-topping ‘Evalia’ trim or hard-wearing ‘Combi’ trim, features sliding rear doors to allow access to the rear passenger space, with a simple seat back tilt granting access to the rearmost row. Nissan also says it has added additional rear air conditioning to ensure that second and third row passengers are kept comfortable during their travel, whatever the weather.
In its default guise, the 7-seat e-NV200 Evalia also comes with a single piece tailgate rather than twin hinged doors, although we believe the latter may be specced at point of order.
When it comes to cargo, Nissan says there’s 443 litres (15 cubic feet) behind the third row under the load bay tonneau cover, or 870 litres (30 cubic feet) when filled to the roof line. This makes it ideal for life as a private-hire minicab, an airport transfer shuttle, or a family car. Indeed, both second and third row seats can be folded away to accommodate three full-sized bicycles, without requiring any dismantling of the bicycles first.
Prices and final specification for the 7-seat e-NV200 hasn’t been released yet, but we’d hope the difference in price between five and seven seats would be an additional few thousand as it is with the non plug-in NV200. Both Combi and Evalia trim 7-seat models will be available to order from April.
At this point, we feel it’s probably worth mentioning that while those extra two seats will certainly make the e-NV200 more appealing to large families and small businesses looking for the most versatile electric vehicle they can buy, driving around with those rear seats filled could impact total range per charge. While that is likely to only be a few percent of the official NEDC rating, it’s worth remembering if you’re planning to do any long-distance trips in it.
As for the U.S.? Like the rest of the e-NV200 family, Nissan hasn’t announced when the e-NV200 will head stateside, but the preferred explanation at the moment is that Nissan is holding back on a U.S. launch until it can increase the range offered per charge thanks to a more energy-dense battery pack it’s working on.
Do you welcome the new 7-seat e-NV200? Would you like to buy one? And do you think the e-NV200 7-seat version will become the domain of taxi firms around the world looking for a heavy-duty workhorse for inner-city fares?
Leave your thoughts in the Comments below.
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