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Nissan to launch first electric minivan

by Masaaki Kameda

Staff Writer

Nissan Motor Co., moving to expand its lineup of eco-friendly vehicles here, said Monday it will launch its first all-electric commercial-use vehicle in October.

“While our competitors are coming to market with their first electric vehicle, we’re breaking convention once again by expanding and diversifying our lineup with a second all-electric vehicle,” said Chief Planning Officer Andy Palmer at the rollout in Yokohama.

The new e-NV200 commercial vehicle is the second mass-market all-electric vehicle after the Leaf, which has sold more than 119,000 units globally since it debuted in December 2010, the carmaker said.

“Nissan is committed to the complete elimination of emissions from cars, not partial improvements such as those achieved simply by clean diesel or hybridization. We believe the ultimate goal is zero,” Palmer said.

The e-NV200, which started rolling off production lines at Nissan’s plant in Barcelona, Spain, in May, will be exported to Japan and go on sale in Europe this month, the Yokohama-based company said.

“Electric vehicles are good contenders in the commercial vehicle arena, considering commercial vehicles have limited needs, including running distance . . . Electric cars have high potential in this field,” Executive Vice President Takao Katagiri said at the rollout.

The battery-powered vehicle, which is based on the Nissan’s multipurpose commercial van, the NV200, can go around 190 km on a full charge, the automaker said.

Nissan has set a domestic sales target of 500 units per month for the e-NV200, which comes in several versions, including 5- and 7-seat wagons that can be used as private vehicles. The price ranges from almost ¥3.9 million to just below ¥4.8 million, including consumption tax.

The e-NV200 comes with two 100-volt power outlets, one below the dashboard and the other in the cargo area. These can draw up to 1,500 watts of power from the battery, Nissan said, adding they might become handy power sources for “off-site jobs or events, or in case of an emergency.”

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