Thursday, October 31, 2013

Nissan to launch electric NV200 ahead of stricter emissions rules for vans

Nissan will launch a battery-powered version of its NV200 van aimed at private customers and fleets based in European cities.

It is part of the automaker's push to offer zero- or low-emissions alternatives for its entire lineup to meet the region's tougher pollution rules.
The e-NV200 will launch in 2014, well ahead of the proposed 2020 deadline, at which time fleet CO2 for vans would decrease to 147 grams per kilometer from 203g/km now.
The electric van also will help Nissan meet stricter limits in European cities for smog-causing nitrogen oxides and particulates, a Nissan spokesman told Automotive News Europe.
One of the cities Nissan is working with is Barcelona. The automaker and the Barcelona government signed a memorandum of understanding earlier this year for Nissan to develop a taxi version of the e-NV200 for the Spanish city. In exchange, the city will install a network of Nissan-designed electric charging stations around Barcelona.
To further encourage sales of the e-NV200 – and other electric vans – the Barcelona government said it also is considering creating special EV loading zones, establishing EV-only taxi stops, offering tax breaks for EV fleets and only allowing EVs into certain sections if the city during certain times of the day.
'Clean air zones'
"Many cities and governments are considering or enacting clean air zones in cities to reduce pollution. Taxis and delivery vehicles are obviously a key part of this fight," the Nissan spokesman said. "Alongside the legislative environment, many large organizations, companies and local councils have environmental targets to reduce CO2 across their fleets and a combination of electric cars and electric vans can help them achieve this."
Following the launch of the Leaf, the e-NV200 is part of Nissan's plan to offer an EV, mild hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or fuel cell version of all of its models, the spokesman said.
The e-NV200, which Nissan also will sell in Japan, faces little competition in Europe. The only battery-powered van sold by a mass-market brand in the region is the Kangoo from Renault, which is Nissan's alliance partner.
"Nissan is in a good place to be since there should be people looking for an EV alternative to vans with combustion engines and the e-NV200 shows promise as a zero-emissions delivery vehicle," said Ian Fletcher, a senior analyst for IHS Automotive. "The biggest issue will be cost, but there should be plenty of incentives out there."
Nissan has not announced a price for the e-NV200, which will be built at the automakers factory in Barcelona, where Nissan also makes the fuel-powered NV200.
The electric van will share its powertrain with the Leaf and get its batteries from Nissan's factory in Sunderland, England.