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Clean Transport Nissan e-NV200 Vans Getting Tested In UK’s Largest Commercial Electric Van Trial

Published on December 2nd, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan


Nissan e-NV200 Vans Getting Tested In UK’s Largest Commercial Electric Van Trial

Originally published on EV Obsession.

Nissan, Gateshead College, British Gas, and Hitachi Capital Commercial Vehicle Solutions have launched the largest commercial electric vehicle trial in the UK.

Don’t get too excited, it’s just a 28-vehicle trial, but it’s a start!

The trial is using Nissan’s e-NV200 vans, which are also going to be used in taxi pilot programs in Barcelona, where they are being manufactured, and New York City.

The vans are being included in the British Gas fleet, which totals about 13,000 vans! (Imagine if the pilot goes well.) Actually, British Gas does intend to have 10% of its fleet switch to electric by 2015.

28 British Gas engineers in the northeast of England, Glasgow, and West London have already received the electric vans. They will trial the e-NV200s for six months.

So, where does Gateshead College come in? Well, it trained the British Gas engineers on how to drive and live with the e-NV200s.

Gateshead College adds: “The vehicle is a breakthrough zero emission compact van that promises an 80% reduction in fuel costs  while also helping the environment by bringing CO2 emissions down to zero at the point of use. As British Gas home services engineers operate within a defined zone, the Nissan e-NV200 can easily operate within a British Gas’ daily usage pattern on just one charge.”

“We’re proud to be providing the vehicles for the UK’s largest ever electric commercial vehicle pilot in conjunction with our strategic partners. Piloting such a large number of vans exclusively with British Gas in advance of the e-NV200 going on sale in 2014 underlines the closeness of our relationship and marks the final stages of the vehicle’s development,” Jim Wright, Nissan GB managing director, said.

“Our engineers will take the feedback of the British Gas drivers to ensure we launch a vehicle perfectly suited to British road and business conditions. With an expected harsh winter ahead, the 28 Nissan e-NV200s will be delivering home services around the country whatever the weather, demonstrating how strongly the 100% electric van can perform for large fleets with challenging daily routines.”

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he's the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to and click on the relevant buttons.

  • Tim Timski James-Parker

    How do you heat an electric vehicle?

    • Wayne Williamson

      My guess is resistive(normal electrical heater). Although, the Tesla does use a fluid to keep the batteries “cool”, I guess that could be routed to a heat exchanger….
      Think of it this way, you don’t have to wait for the car to warm up before you can get some warm air blowing from the vents.

      • Tim Timski James-Parker

        sure, but its a fact that the heating will use a huge amount of energy, one way or another

    • Bob_Wallace

      Heat pump would be the most efficient. Could use waste heat from discharging batteries.

      Heated seat. Heated steering wheel. LEAF/Volt/? used these.

      Volvo used an ethanol heater which warmed both passenger compartment and battery pack.

      One of the nice things is that if you’ve parked plugged in you can trigger the heater with your phone and have the car warmed using grid power when you climb in. (I went out this morning in -7C to start/warm my pickup.)

      • Tim Timski James-Parker


        Great reply, do you think this is an issue that hasn’t been thought through?, visions of British Gas fitting boilers to their fleet ;)

        • Bob_Wallace

          EVs are in their infancy. It will take time to figure out the best solutions.

          First version was resistance heaters which use a lot of electricity, now things seem to be moving to heat pumps.

          I can see some sort of fuel heater being an option for the coldest places. Old enough to remember the gas heaters one could add to VW Bugs? Air-cooled so no hot engine water available to heat passengers.

  • Wayne Williamson

    Very cool.
    They should approach the US Postal service for replacing the local route vehicles.
    Probably the same thing in the UK…

  • JamesWimberley

    Vans in urban service businesses are low-hanging fruit for EV. As the article reports for the Gateshead pilot, they have defined and usually small usage areas. For large companies like British Gas, the routes are planned in detail the day before. The stop-start pattern leads to high consumption of diesel, maximising the fuel cost and pollution benefits of the shift to electric. What British Gas really want to find out is whether to speed up the shift they’ve promised.

    • A Real Libertarian

      Win-win, the electric vans save a lot of diesel and money, the production of batteries drives down prices.

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