2012 Detroit Auto Show: Nissan e-NV200 Concept wants to be a zero emissions small van

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 9, 2012

The Nissan e-NV200 Concept is the proof that the Japanese manufacturer is trying to become a leader of the zero-emission automotive industry. Unveiled today at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, the new e-NV200 Concept is based on the popular NV200 multi-usage vehicle and 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.

Just like the Nissan Leaf, the new e-NV200 Concept features the same central charging port door, the blue–accented Nissan badge, and sweeping headlights with LED illuminated accents. Moreover, the same Leaf Aqua Blue color is found on the new concept. Inside, the vehicle features blue colored accents and bright interior color palette but also advanced telematics and a flat C-cluster display that resembles and responds to user input like a tablet computer.

As expected, the Nissan e-NV200 Concept shares its major drivetrain components with the innovative Nissan Leaf. This means that the power is supplied by a ithium-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.

On top of the worldwide launch of the Nissan e-NV200 concept, the Japanese carmaker is currently evaluating the NV200-based electric vehicles prototype that underwent initial trial in the summer of 2011.

Japan Post Service used the concept car to deliver and collect parcels in Yokohama in Japan. The results of these evaluations would give Nissan real life feedback from companies in several markets around the world, helping the carmaker to come up with a better battery-powered commercial vehicle that would be perfect for the companies that would need them. More tests are lined up in London, this time partnering with FedEX.

"Taxi of Tomorrow"

The Nissan NV200 takes its global tag seriously as it is made in Japan, China and Europe. The vehicle is now available in 40 countries and launches in India and North America are currently being planned.

NV200 will take on its most visible run beginning the latter part of 2013, as New York City would use the NV200 for its yellow cabs, which are used by around 600,000 passengers daily.

Nissan's NV200 was selected among other vehicles from similarly global manufacturer because of its compact exterior and spacious interior in the Taxi of Tomorrow competition. The Nissan NV200 Taxi design is the result of inputs from hundreds of taxi drivers and owners, as well as passengers who also shared their ideas with the carmaker's engineers and designers.

Some of the planned NV200 Taxi features include the roomy luggage area, sliding doors that have grab handles and entry step for easy exit and entry into the passenger cabin, rear seat air conditioning and heat that the passenger can control, Grape Polyphenol filter to help keep the air quality up to par, eco-friendly seat upholstery, improved materials used in the interior to make the cabin smell fresh and easy to clean.

Press Release

Nissan e-NV200 Concept

The innovative Nissan e-NV200 Concept, which made 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 Nissan 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.

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