Clean Transport

Published on June 13th, 2014 | by Christopher DeMorro


Nissan e-NV200 Heading To Portland For Real World Testing

June 13th, 2014 by  


Portland, Oregon is a city that has no problem experimenting with far-out and frankly weird ideas, though there’s nothing weird about Nissan’s new electric van. The Nissan e-NV200 will launch in Portland to research the viability of an electric van in the American commercial market.

Nissan will partner with Portland General Electric in a six-week trial that will put the Nissan e-NV200 through the paces of daily work life. Production of the electric van began in earnest in Barcelona last month, and Portland is one of the leading EV markets in America, making it the perfect place for a real-world test.

Portland and PGE will get a pair of vans to validate, through Nissan is also testing the e-NV200 with companies like FedEx in California, Georgia, and Washington D.C.. It seems Nissan hasn’t fully committed to the idea of bringing the electric van to America, though it is already slated to go on sale in Europe and Japan later this year.

With about the same range as the Nissan Leaf, which uses the same drivetrain, Nissan is probably worried that many companies drive farther than the e-NV200 would allow in a daily basis. However, Portland is also taking part in Nissan’s “No Charge to Charge” scheme, which provides free EV charging at a number of charging stations across the city.

Is a Leaf-based electric van viable for America?

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About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.

  • eveee

    Several years ago, I spoke with another supplier of delivery vehicles. I asked about range. The reply was that there were two stages, morning and afternoon. The local deliveries were routed and short. EV range is good in low speed stop and go like delivery vans. At the lunch break the vans returned to base for another load, and continued their route until the day was done. Its a shift in behavior and thinking. The USPS bid for EVs for local mail delivery and UPS has some hybrids. Diesels and ICE vehicles are bad at stop and go.

    • JamesWimberley

      I think that’s right. The first to move will be fleet operators who schedule their van operations from day to day and have historical records allowing them to calculate their daily mileage exactly. They will also be ready to invest in high-capacity rechargers at the depot,

      • Bob_Wallace

        UPS and FexEx have been running EV delivery vans for some time. Their urban routes are often less than 100 miles.

      • eveee

        Yes. You have it right. Its already happening now. I hesitated to give the mfr, but its Balqon. They make the fleet of tractors that haul heavy loads on and off the large vessels in the port of LA. That vastly reduces carbon and pollution from diesel. Further, some firms use their delivery vehicles as I described. Now we have Nissan. Its growing.

  • Benjamin Nead

    For heaven’s sake, Nissan, bring it to the US! First, though, put in the upcoming heat resistant battery . . .

    . . . and ship a few to your test facility in Casa Grande, Arizona. Then, put them on the streets of Tucson (my wife and I will gladly park our Mazda MPV to provide a real world testing scenario for you) and Phoenix during the hottest summer months.

    The extreme Arizona heat, of course, is what did in several Leaf batteries during the summer of 2012. A van is going to put more wear and tear on the battery than it would if installed in a conventional car (ie: has to work harder in a less aerodynamic vehicle that almost certainly will be hauling heavier cargo.) But, if it can be proved that Nissan’s revised battery is ready, an electric van has a US market ready and willing to jump in.

    Mitsubishi is behind schedule getting their Outlander EV over here, due to a shortage of batteries from their sources. Meanwhile, Chrysler has announced an upcoming PHEV minivan. Both the Mitsu and the Mopar probably won’t be available until late 2015 or 2016. GM could certainly make a Voltec drive train PHEV minivan or small SUV any time, but they haven’t read the memo.

    Nissan . . . you’ve got a chance to fill a niche and be the first to do it. Go for it!

  • JamesWimberley

    You’d think Nissan could come up with a catchier name. But then, “Model T” wasn’t exactly sexy.

    • Bob_Wallace

      “Dat Soon?”

      It’s an old joke….

      • Ronald Brakels

        Don’t laugh. In the 70s a plane carrying Japanese car parts broke up over Brisbane and it ended up raining Datsun cogs.

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