GRR

Review: 2019 Nissan e-NV200

28th January 2019
erin_baker_headshot.jpg Erin Baker

A lack of heritage is, in the case of the automotive industry, becoming the norm for new models, especially in 2019, the year of the electric vehicle. Every model is a brave new step towards a bright new future (fingers crossed). Are you ready? Nissan is, with its new electric van, the not-at-all-catchily-named e-NV200.

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Electric vans make perfect sense, as they spend most of their time making short, stop-start commercial runs round cities and towns, which increasingly have low-emissions zone tariffs in place, and are where the most concentrated noxious emissions build up. They also tend to be where most charging points are installed. One doesn’t have to be an expert at forecasting to see the commercial mass-market take-up of EVs being the first, the most rapid, and the most prevalent.

Nissan has taken its small NV200 van and put a battery and 40kWh electric motor in it, alongside an automatic transmission. Disappointment out of the way first: the e-NV200 Tekna Plus only has two seats up front, instead of a three-man bench seat, which resulted in crushing disappointment for my two sons, who love to ride up front with me in vans normally.

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The van has a dinky wheelbase, meaning that while you can’t move house with it, it’s also much easier to park around town than something the size of a Ford Transit. Whether it’s suitable for your business needs will depend on what you need to cart around.

There’s a sliding side door, which is always a bonus for loading and unloading in tight spots, and unglazed rear doors. Other standard equipment in Tekna Plus specification includes curtain and side airbags, tyre-pressure monitoring, cruise control, air-con, a rear-view camera, audio buttons on the steering wheel, Bluetooth, and iPod connectivity.

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But you’re wanting to know about the electric side of things. Well, the electric drivetrain gives you 109 horsepower and 188lb ft of torque, which is the important part for lugging your rear load around. 

It will take 7.5 hours to charge the battery from a wallbox and 40 minutes with a rapid charger, and you’ll get perhaps 170 miles between charges. Put it this way: I parked it with its nose inside our garage, and plugged the supplied cable into the van’s nose at one end and a domestic three-pin socket in the garage at the other, on a Sunday afternoon. Between roast lunch and tea I managed to give the e-NV200 a 25 mile boost, which was enough to take the kids to their grandparents and back. I didn’t fancy leaving it to charge overnight because that would have meant leaving the garage door open, but if I owned an EV I’d create a hole for the cable to run through. Actually, I’d just install a wallbox charger at home, but you get my point.

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It’s a very weird experience driving a silent van. You half expect it with cars these days, especially at the top end of the range, but with vans you expect to rumble with the gurgling smell of derv. Without the noise, you hear your payload crashing around in the back, and every creak and groan of the metal load bay. But it makes absolute sense to go electric where commercial vehicles are concerned; let’s just hope the government doesn’t start messing about with electric van grants as they become more successful.

 

Stat attack

Price: £26,839 (excluding government grant and VAT)

Engine: 40kWh electric motor

Transmission: automatic

Power/torque: 109bhp/188lb ft

0-62mph: 14.0 seconds

Top speed: 76mph

Range: 172 miles

Weight: 1,592kg

  • Nissan

  • EV

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