DETROIT – Nissan debuted its e-NV200 Concept at the North American Auto Show in Detroit on Jan. 9, previewing a production version of the all-electric van that the automaker plans to introduce in the near future. 

The e-NV200 concept is based on the Nissan NV200 light commercial vehicle, which won the 2010 International Van of the Year award for Nissan.

Nissan debuted its e-NV200 Concept this week in Detroit.

Nissan debuted its e-NV200 Concept this week in Detroit.

“A potential game changing vehicle in its segment, the battery capacity will support a driving range similar to the Nissan LEAF, while payload and cargo space will offer the same level as the current NV200,” said Hideto Murakami, corporate vice president of Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. “The production version would be targeted mainly at businesses, but also at private users or families in major regions.”

As a potential mass-production vehicle, the Nissan e-NV200 Concept would also provide a reduction in operating costs compared to current internal combustion engine vehicles, Nissan said. 

“A vehicle like the Nissan e-NV200 Concept would energize the current compact van market in more ways than one – helping improve the quality of urban life and providing a smart financial investment for large and small businesses alike,” Murakami added.

The e-NV200 Concept interior features advanced telematics and a flat C-cluster display that resembles and responds to user input like a tablet computer.

“The Nissan e-NV200 Concept is a standout design, sharing the iconic EV look established by the Nissan LEAF but in a modern, active, functional commercial vehicle form,” said Murakami. “Inside, it offers a smart, convenient cockpit along with an EV feel and an easy operational interface.”

The Nissan e-NV200 Concept shares its major drivetrain components with the Nissan LEAF. Zero-emission power is supplied is by a lithium-ion battery composed of 48 compact modules and a high-response 80kW AC synchronous motor that generates 207 lb-ft (280 N-m/rpm) of torque. 

Evaluations of prototype NV200-based electric vehicles are under way to provide real-world feedback from delivery and other companies in various global markets. The initial trial was conducted in summer 2011 by the Japan Post Service, which used a single prototype for delivery and collection duties in Yokohama, Japan. Additional testing began in London last month in conjunction with FedEx. Feedback will help Nissan tailor future battery-powered light commercial vehicles to better fulfill customer requirements, the automaker said.