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Over 40 countries worldwide are already supplied with the NV200; today is strictly the little van’s North American debut. The NV200 has done quite well for itself globally, winning the 2010 International Van of the Year award in Europe, the 2010 Commercial Delivery Van (CDV) of the Year in China and the 2011 Universal Design Award from Universal Design GMbH, which would suggest that the NV200 will do well for itself in North America.
The NV200 measures in at 186.2 inches in overall length riding on a 115.2-inch wheelbase that offers 123 cubic feet of storage space. That length is 7.9 inches longer in North America than the rest of the global market. Nissan also estimates the van is capable of carrying 1,500 lbs of payload. The NV200 is can also fit a standard 40×48-inch pallet in its cargo area. To bolster the idea of the NV200 being a utility vehicle, six floor-mounted cargo hooks are available for the rear of the van as well as standard mounting points in the walls where shelves and racks can be installed.
The interior of the NV200 tries to emulate a mobile office with a laptop storage spot, a place to hang files, a pen tray and of course cupholders all embedded in the center console. The passenger seat is fully foldable to further aid the driver’s office experience by functioning as a desk or by offering more storage space for particularly long items.
Driving the NV200 is a 2.0-liter 16-valve DOHC 4-cylinder engine mated to Nissan’s Xtronic CVT transmission. While it may not be a power house, the NV200 should get reasonable fuel economy, an important factor for buyers interested in the van for working vehicle fleets.
GALLERY: 2013 Nissan NV200
Nissan is trying to stay at the forefront of the rapidly-progressing electric vehicle market by announcing a plug-in version of their compact van today at the Detroit Auto Show, the e-NV200.
“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. The production version would be targeted mainly at businesses, but also at private users or families in major regions,” Nissan corporate vice president, Hideto Murakami said in a press release.
The concept takes cues from the Leaf. “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.
The fact remains that this is just a concept, so exterior and interior features have a lot of room to grow, though it makes sense that the company would borrow heavily from their already existing EV formula. Some concepts are easier to take seriously than others, because as many of us know: concepts often remain on the auto show floor and the drawing board. That isn’t the case for the e-NV200, Nissan sayas they are already conducting tests and preparing it for the real world.
The initial trial took place last year during the summer with the Japan Post Service and the company is continued that work in London with FedEx starting last month.
While cars with a range close to the current Leaf’s capacity will be good for deliveries in cities where routes are short and fleets are big, the reality is that charging times and the cost per vehicle may be prohibitive for small businesses who run frequent deliveries, even with federal tax credits.
The gasoline NV200 is produced in Japan, Europe and China and available in 40 countries, but currently not sold in the U.S. Americans can look forward, however, to seeing the NV200 late next year in New York City as taxi cabs.
GALLERY: Nissan e-NV200
With the outdated Crown Victoria taxi being put to rest, the competition to select the future NYC cab has turned into a fierce fight.
Three different models were chosen to be tested including the Nissan NV200, Ford Transit Connect and the Turkish entry, the Karsan V1. Ultimately the NV200 was chosen to serve for the next ten years, but the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) could approve other vehicles for the fleet. The Transit Connect was among the vehicles selected for approval, and taxi companies can choose to add the Ford van as well. New York will join Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia where officials have approved Transit Connect Taxis for use.
“For decades, Ford has been synonymous with New York City taxis, and we are pleased residents and tourists now will benefit from our next-generation vehicle,” said Mark Fields, Ford president of The Americas.
The Altima, Sentra, and Titan are getting long in the tooth, and even the Maxima and Murano. Those will get replaced with all new cars before 2014. Infiniti will get a new three-row luxury crossover, tenatively called the JX, and a front-wheel-drive hatchback to fight the Audi A3 and BMW 1-Series compacts. The NV200, now the official taxicab of New York City, will soon be available to Cash Cab enthusiasts. The popular G37 and G25 will get replaced, possibly without their manual transmissions, and an electric vehicle based on the Leaf will allow luxury drivers to assuage their financial guilt.
If you counted only 10 cars in the preceding paragraph, it shows that you’ve been paying attention (thank you!), and you would be right—there are still two surprises Nissan is holding from us. One is the return of the flagship Infiniti, for those lamenting the death of the unloved Q45. And one could be a mystery vehicle for Nissan that could be as wacky as the Murano CrossCabriolet—could it be a small sports car like the Urge concept? After all, the 240SX deserves to make a comeback.
[Source: Car And Driver]
The city of New York has chosen Nissan as the supplier for the next generation of taxi cabs. This decision will give Nissan an exclusive 10-year contract for the city’s massive fleet totaling 13,200 taxis.
The Nissan design was chosen over the Ford Transit Connect van as well as a design from Turkish builder Karzan. The Nissan fleet will slowly replace the Ford Crown Victorias as well as the hybrid Ford Escapes.
The Nissan van is based on the NV200, a model Nissan sells in both Europe and Asia and only recently brought to market here.
Selecting just one automaker and just one vehicle has its opponents with owners of big taxi fleets saying they don’t want to be stuck using only one model. Advocates for the disabled, meanwhile, oppose any vehicle that isn’t wheelchair accessible. Only Karsan’s entry met that criteria although Ford and Nissan both offered the ability to make some of their vehicles wheelchair accessible.
The decision to go with Nissan is a major loss for Ford’s plan to offer the new Transit Connect as a taxi in New York. Furthermore, none of the three competitors are currently built in the United States. The NV200 is, however, slated to be built in Mexico. Close enough?
Small cars are becoming more attractive in North America as gas prices continue to skyrocket, and Nissan is making plans to meet demand. According to a recent report, the Japanese automaker will add two new models to its production facilities in Mexico. Designed for sale in the Americas region, this could include the United States.
Nissan already builds the March/Micra for Latin America at the Aguascalientes plant and will soon add the next-generation Versa – both of which are built on Nissan’s new global V architecture. The two additional models will share the same underpinnings, with one being another small car and the other a “multi purpose vehicle.”
It’s possible that one of these cars could be the recently-axed model that Nissan was planning to build for distribution by Smart in the U.S. There are, however, a host of other possibilities, with the previous B-segment platform being used for everything from the Nissan Juke and Cube, to the Bluebird Sylphy sedan, the Fit-like Note MPV even the NV200 light commercial vehicle.
[Source: Automotive News via CNet]
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