Nissan e-NV200 launches in UK

  • Nissan launches e-NV200 into full time production
  • British Gas trial points to successful use of Nissan's electric van
  • Prices start at £13,393 and versions include van, people carrier and taxi

Nissan has started full-time production of its new electric van – the e-NV200.

The medium sized panel van will cost from £13,393 with a lease agreement for the batteries, while buying outright starts from £16,562.20 on the road (both including the government grant).

Nissan points to very low running costs as a further incentive for van buyers to consider the e-NV200, claiming the electric panel van costs as little as 2p a mile to run.

Clearly that is very competitive compared to a traditional diesel van but just how practical is it to run an electric van?

Nissan set up a trial with British Gas for 28 of its service engineers to each run an e-NV200 for a period of six months over the winter of 2013/14.

The vans were tested in three different locations: Scotland, London and the North East to take account of the different demands placed on the vans.

Rob Morton, managing Director of Procurement and Supply Chain at Centrica said ‘We were deliberately trying to break them. The vans were used in all weathers, all conditions and had to attend up to 8 repairs a day.’

The engineers were trained before the trial began and had access to a 24/7 telephone helpline.

Chargers were installed at their homes including smart meters that worked out just how much electric was used to charge the vans so user operators didn’t have this cost added to their domestic bill.

The feedback from the engineers was very positive from all three test regions.
Rob Morton revealed ‘The engineers adopted a different driving style and found the vans to be calming to drive thanks to the quiet electric motors. The vans carried the same amount of kit as a standard engineer's van so there was no compromise on the job front either.’

The engineers adapted their working day to enable them to re-charge the vans if necessary by using a plug-in point during a break.

The trial helped to not only evaluate how effective the vans were at meeting the demands of a British Gas engineer but also identify ways to improve the vans for other users and buyers.

Barry Beston, Nissan’s Corporate Sales Director, explained ‘We realised that using climate control places more demand on the batteries so fitting heated seats and steering wheel not only enabled the engineers to stay warm but placed less demand on the batteries.’

Nissan believes the learnings have helped them shape a ‘turn-key’ solution for van buyers. This includes the ability to help provide smart meters as developed by British Gas, developing settings on the Eco mode that suits the individual client and only utilising sales centres that have experience of selling electric vehicles.

‘We believe the British Gas trial has helped us develop a template we can take out to other business,’ said Barry Beston. ‘The e-NV200 is tested and proved and by working in partnership with new operators we can provided a complete solution.’

The Japanese company has revealed that the e-NV200 will be built as a panel van, five-seater Combi and as a taxi version.

Both are available in two trim versions with the option to specify a fast-charge option plus other extras including air con, safety and winter packs, and mesh partition.

There will be a road test of the e-NV200 coming soon and to read the Nissan NV200 review click here.