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Electric van proves its pull with the fleet industry

Nissan claims it has received very positive feedback from the fleet industry on its new e-NV200 electric van, after inviting fleet industry experts to inspect the model.

Five leasing companies, six major fleet operators and three used value guides visited the carmaker’s plant in Barcelona to test drive the new e-NV200 along with the  diesel NV200 and the electric LEAF supermini.

Nissan e-NV200 commercial van

The group met the e-NV200 development team and were able to give their thoughts on all aspects of the vehicle, including how they envisage it fitting into a fleet strategy.  In return, Nissan shared its EV vision including product creation, development and future EV plans.

All delegates reacted positively to the fully electric van’s driving and performance characteristics, with many keen to put the vehicle into immediate use.

“We were blown away with the response and we already have leasing companies and fleet operators who want to trial the vehicle, and some who want to order a fleet of vehicles for urban delivery use,” explained Matthew Dale, Nissan’s national LCV sales manager.

“After driving the vehicle on the two day trip they could immediately see the business benefit of running electric vans across specific parts of a fleet. Commercial vehicles are working tools and our guests recognised both the savings in fuel costs and reduced emissions offered by the e-NV200,” he added.

The used guide experts reported that they could see a definite role for the e-NV200 and that residual values would be influenced by the vehicle’s practicality and whole life costs, which will give it a second and third life in the used market.

“Residual values are key to the success of any commercial vehicle so we were pleased to hear some very positive initial comments from the used vehicle experts,” said Dale.

The Barcelona trip follows successful trials of the electric commercial with major fleets such as British Gas, FedEx , Coca-Cola and the Japan Post Service.

The electric van uses a drivetrain based on the Nissan LEAF, with a lithium ion battery and 80kW AC motor capable of generating 280Nm of torque. Recharging can take as little as 30 minutes to 80 per cent capacity, using a quick charge station.

It is expected to go on sale in 2014.

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Faye Sunderland

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