Nissan wants e-NV200 to capture fleets sales from diesel vans in Europe

Article by Christian Andrei, on June 26, 2014

Diesel-powered delivery vans are popular among fleets in Europe due to their low running costs. Nissan is bent on capturing fleet sales from those diesel units with its e-NV200 electric delivery van. Nissan is presenting two main reasons why fleet managers should the switch -- e-NV200 boasts of better handling and lower running costs, according to Thomas Ebeling, Nissan general manager for product strategy and planning.

Compared with its conventional version – the NV200 -- the e-NV200 boasts of having a faster, smoother acceleration thanks to its 80-kilowatt electric motor. The e-NV200 also boasts of better handling since the battery placed in the subframe under its middle gives it a lower center of gravity, thereby enhancing stability and reducing body roll.

The wider-stance e-NV200 likewise is 40-percent less costly to operate than its diesel sibling, Ebeling said. He noted that most of the operating savings come from not having an engine to maintain. He said that while the e-NV200 is not for everyone, it is “a perfect solution for some people.”

Nissan pegs that around 200,000 fleet vans in Europe never travel more than 120km a day – which according to Ebeling are potential customers for the e-EV200. Ebeling remarked that a fleet operator seeking to cut CO2 emissions could replace his entire fleet with more efficient diesel vehicles or just swap a portion of their fleet to EVs.

Carmakers in Europe also need to cut the average CO2 emissions from their vans to 149g/km by 2020 from the current 173g/km. Forecasters, however, are not bullish on the e-NV200.

IHS Automotive said that Nissan's Barcelona site in Spain is expected to build just 1,200 units of the e-NV200 in 2015 for global sales, with volume surging to 2,742 in 2020. IHS expects most of e-NV200’s initial volume to be sold in Europe.

Pavan Potluri, a senior powertrain analyst at IHS, said in an e-mail to Automotive News that demand for the e-NV200 will be primarily driven by the changing legislation within cities with upcoming low-emission zones and restrictions on fuel choice.

He noted that a large chunk of demand will be from taxis and commercial delivery fleets.

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