The Nissan NV has made waves since recently hitting the service van segment, and now the Japanese automaker is planning to test an electric version of their compact NV200 van as a mail delivery and collection vehicle in Yokohama over the next two months.
“The role that can be played by zero emissions vehicles in promoting a balance between economic growth and environmental protection in the realm of logistics is large,” said Nissan Corporate Vice President Hideto Murakami, responsible for the Global LCV Business Unit. “We will certainly reflect the customer feedback gained from these proving tests in our future product development, and I expect that our commercial electric vehicles based on the NV200 will contribute to our customers’ business and to the development of a sustainable society.”
The NV200 is the same vehicle New York recently tabbed as the choice for it’s next generation of taxi cabs, and its minivan style is popular as both a service vehicle and taxi in Japan in Europe. New York awarded Nissan a $1 billion contract for 13,200 NV200 vans, which will be gasoline powered. However, this and future tests of electric minivans will have a large effect on the production and marketing of electric minivans in the U.S. and throughout the world. Nissan actually hinted that they were planning to roll out electric taxicab versions of the NV200 by 2017.
While Nissan is known for their foray into the electric vehicle market with their compact Leaf, they aren’t the current leader when it comes to service vehicles running on electricity instead of gas. That honor would go to the Ford Transit Connect, which has been in production since the end of 2010.