The innovative Nissan e-NV200 Concept, which makes it world debut at the 2012 North American Auto Show in Detroit, serves as more evidence of Nissan's leadership position in the zero-emission automotive industry. Based on the popular Nissan NV200 multi-usage vehicle, the Nissan e-NV200 Concept previews a near-future production version of a full electric vehicle designed to provide businesses or families with flexible, roomy interior space, while achieving a dramatic CO2 footprint reduction.
"With its ‘no gas, no tailpipe, no emissions' powertrain, the Nissan e-NV200 Concept combines a quiet, comfortable driving experience with a large, highly versatile, functional interior space within a compact overall body length," said Hideto Murakami, corporate vice president, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. "A potential game changing vehicle in its segment, the battery capacity will support a driving range similar to the Nissan LEAF, while payload and cargo space will offer the same level as the current NV200. The production version would be targeted mainly at businesses, but also at private users or families in major regions."
As a potential mass production vehicle, Nissan e-NV200 Concept would also provide a reduction in operating costs compared to current internal combustion engine vehicles.
"A vehicle like the Nissan e-NV200 Concept would energize the current compact van market in more ways than one – helping improve the quality of urban life and providing a smart financial investment for large and small businesses alike," Murakami added.
NV200 Functionality, Nissan EV Identity
The Nissan e-NV200 Concept exterior starts with a foundation of a production Nissan NV200, then adds strong visual cues from the breakthrough Nissan LEAF EV. The versatile and highly acclaimed NV200 light commercial vehicle won the 2010 International Van of the Year award for Nissan, as well as the 2011 Universal Design Award from Universal Design GMbH, an organization dedicated to promoting the convergence of design and the emerging importance of customer needs. On top of those, it received the CDV of the 2010 Year award in China, while also establishing its presence in Japan as segment leader with a wide-ranging lineup that includes a taxi version.
The Nissan e-NV200 Concept's EV-style identity starts with its front "face." The wide hood is accented by a large central charging port door, the blue–accented Nissan badge, and sweeping headlights with LED illuminated accents. The exterior is highlighted by the interaction of the strong main character lines and its broad body surfaces. Large front windows and long rear greenhouse combine with a pair of large glass roof panels to create an airy, open interior environment. The exterior is painted in a customized color, following the concept of the Nissan LEAF's Aqua Blue, which expresses a sense of environmental friendliness.
Inside, the Nissan e-NV200 Concept interior depicts a clean, modern Nissan EV identity through use of the EV meters, blue colored accents and bright interior color palette, while also retaining the NV200's strong functional feeling. The e-NV200 Concept interior also features advanced telematics and a flat C-cluster display that resembles and responds to user input like a tablet computer.
"The Nissan e-NV200 Concept is a standout design, sharing the iconic EV look established by the Nissan LEAF but in a modern, active, functional commercial vehicle form," said Murakami. "Inside, it offers a smart, convenient cockpit along with an EV feel and an easy-operational interface."
Zero Emission Drivetrain
The Nissan e-NV200 Concept shares its major drivetrain components with the innovative Nissan LEAF.
Silent, zero emission power is supplied is by a lithium-ion battery composed of 48 compact modules and a high-response 80kW AC synchronous motor that generates 207 lb-ft (280 N-m/rpm) of torque. Unlike a conventional internal combustion engine, the motor delivers 100% of its torque from start with immediate response bringing excellent acceleration and smooth, comfortable driving feel.
And, like the Nissan LEAF, the Nissan e-NV200 Concept offers a highly responsive, fun-to-drive experience that is in keeping with what consumers have come to expect from traditional, gasoline-powered vehicles. In line with the Nissan LEAF, the Nissan e-NV200 Concept offers excellent projected fuel economy – a critical factor for commercial vehicle operators.
Real World Testing Underway
In addition to the global debut of the Nissan e-NV200 Concept, evaluations of prototype NV200-based electric vehicles are currently being conducted to provide real-world feedback from delivery and other companies in various global markets. The initial trial was conducted in summer 2011 by the Japan Post Service, which used a single prototype for delivery and collection duties in Yokohama, Japan. Additional testing began in London last month in conjunction with FedEx. Feedback will help Nissan tailor future battery-powered light commercial vehicles to better fulfilll exact customer requirements.
Nissan's New York "Taxi of Tomorrow"
As a true global product, the Nissan NV200 is produced in Japan, Europe and China, and is currently available in 40 countries. Future launches are planned for North America and India. Undoubtedly its most visible role to date will begin in late 2013 when the Nissan NV200 becomes the foundation for New York City's new designated yellow cab, serving an estimated 600,000 passengers a day.
Selected over other global manufacturers for its combination of compact exterior and maximum interior space in a multi-year "Taxi of Tomorrow" competition, the all-new Nissan NV200 Taxi design reflects the input of hundreds of taxi owners and drivers, and thousands of passengers who shared their ideas and priorities with Nissan designers and engineers.
Interior features planned for the Nissan NV200 Taxi include a spacious cargo area to accommodate luggage for four passengers, sliding doors with entry step and grab handles for easy entry and exit, passenger-controlled rear-seat heat/air conditioning with a Grape Polyphenol filter to improve cabin air quality, enhanced interior materials intended to help passenger cabin smell fresher, and breathable, anti-microbial, easy-to-clean and environmentally friendly seat upholstery.