Since 2015, Nissan’s e-NV200 all-electric van has become one of the most recognisable and reliable options in the commercial vehicle segment. But up until this point the Nissan’s drivers have had to make do with a range of under 100 miles – limiting them to short-range operations, which can be less than practical for businesses.
Now, Nissan has fitted the small van with the battery pack from the latest Leaf and the 40kWh unit now allows for a quoted range of 187 miles – a marked improvement over the previous option.
Can this enhance the appeal of the e-NV200 and keep it near the top of the zero-emission van market?
As mentioned above, the new battery pack improves the overall range – with the outgoing system offering 106 miles at best. Now fitted with the improved 40kWh power pack, the electric motor produces 109bhp and 254Nm of torque.
When you press the accelerator, the torque is delivered instantaneously – helping the e-NV200 feel strangely quick at first. That being said, 0-60mph takes 14.0 seconds – showing the torque does tail off near the top end – and the top speed is just 76mph. It’s unlikely that the Nissan will be used too far outside of the urban environment though, so that top-end speed won’t be reached too often.
Ride & Handling
Not to dampen it down in any way, but you must remember this is still a van so will drive like it conventionally-powered NV200 sibling. The tall and narrow body is fitted on top of the heavy battery pack, so handling isn’t the van’s strong point – but it’s decent enough as to not feel unstable.
The ride is also surprisingly supple and overall the model feels quite refined – although at higher speeds and with no load in the back, the ride is too soft and can feel bouncy. Due to the raised sides of the body, body roll is almost guaranteed.
Interior & Equipment
Vans need to be durable and practical, and Nissan has achieved that by fitting the cabin with harder plastics that will definitely last longer than some others. The control layout is good, so navigating the cabin is no trouble at all – while there are multiple storage areas throughout the cabin.
But the main attraction of the e-NV200 is its large load space in the back, which offers 4.2 cubic metres of space (4,200 litres) and can haul 705kg of cargo – up from 678kg in the previous iteration. It’s one of the more practical small vans around, as the two-metre long and 1.2m-wide load floor allow for two pallets to fit in the back.
Accessing the rear load space is also quite simple, with a sliding door and choice between a single tailgate or barn-door style opening available. Customers can choose a second sliding door for the other side if they wish.
As standard, the e-NV200 comes with 15-inch alloy wheels, daytime running lights, battery charge indicator, a radio with Aux and USB sockets, Bluetooth and folding passenger seat – while electric door mirrors, a rapid charger, multifunction steering wheel, cruise control and sat-nav are all available on higher spec models.
Before VAT, prices for the e-NV200 start from £19,221, which gets you the base Visia model. Acenta models start from £20,741, while the top-spec Tekna option has an initial cost of £21,881.
It’s safe to say that without the need to refuel it every so often, the e-NV200 makes sense as it produces no emissions and charging costs are currently very low. With a wallbox, charging takes seven and a half hours, while it takes over 21 hours with a domestic socket – so it would be worth investing in a wall-mounted charging unit.See local e-NV200 prices
In terms of value and pay-offs, the e-NV200 is one of the best small vans around. While offering improved electric range with its new power pack and maintaining its impressive load capacity means that the Nissan is still the top choice for van drivers who almost exclusively work in and around large towns and cities. Charging can still be a hassle and the range can still be improved in future models, but as of this moment, the e-NV200 should be your default choice.