We’ve seen electric sedans, sports cars, crossovers and even pickup trucks, but there’s one segment of the market that’s been left out: minivans. The only vans I’ve seen are the Nissan ENV-200 Work Van and the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid (a PHEV). For the US, the Nissan hasn’t been an option, but the Pacifica PHEV is all we have.
When I tested the PHEV in 2019, I realized pretty quickly that it wasn’t really an EV. Getting the gas engine started wasn’t terribly difficult, even in EV mode. Why? Because the electric motor is somewhat undersized and just doesn’t have the juice for overtaking or other maneuvers where you need a little extra punch. But, for people who need the space and functionality of a minivan, it’s the only girl in town (at least in the US).
But, Nissan seems to understand that an electric van is important, as it recently announced pricing for its Townstar van, and it’s available in either gas or electric versions.
The Townstar is the successor to the e-NV200 and is designed to protect businesses against future trends and drive the transition to electric vehicles. What makes it appealing, however, are its two state-of-the-art powertrains – one gasoline and one all-electric – paired with the latest in driving technologies.
Customers wanting zero-emissions vehicles will pay from £29,945 for a short-wheelbase Townstar with a 45kWh battery and a range of up to 183 WLTP miles combined or up to 269 miles in the city cycle. A refined 1.3-litre TCe petrol engine, fully compliant with current Euro 6d Full emissions requirements, delivers 130 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque, delivering power and efficiency in equal measure. Starting at £19,475 for petrol versions, the Townstar offers a high specification and a choice of short or long wheelbase.
Townstar brings a suite of over 20 technologies to the compact van segment, with advanced safety features and driver assistance systems such as Intelligent Emergency Braking, Hands-Free Parking, Intelligent Cruise Control and the Surround View Monitor (AVM). With these advanced technologies, Nissan says the Townstar sets the standard for its class.
There are four trim levels to choose from: Visia, Acenta, Tekna and Tekna+. All are generously specified. Load capacities are also impressive: up to 600 kg (SWB) or 800 kg (LWB). And the maximum braked towing capacity is 1,500 kg.
“We are delighted to provide more information on the all-new Townstar as it nears its UK arrival. Offering two efficient powertrain solutions, practical design and unique Nissan technologies, it is fully equipped to meet ever-changing customer needs,” said Allan Newman, LCV Product Manager at Nissan GB. “With stricter emissions standards, urban access restrictions and ever-increasing demand for last-mile delivery, businesses large and small must find efficient and sustainable solutions to stay competitive and optimize their operations. We are confident that Townstar will meet all of their needs.
Specifications for the electric version
Two- and four-wheel electric versions of the all-new Townstar are priced at £29,945 and £36,995 respectively, with either an 11kW (Visia grade) or 22kW AC (Acenta grade) on-board charging system set to lead the pack. its category. in his sector. There will also be a standard DC fast-charging connector on all Acenta grades, which can recharge the battery from 0% to 80% in around 40 minutes.
The cost of a short wheelbase all-electric vehicle ranges from £34,845 to £35,845 for a Tekna+ model. The all-electric, long-wheelbase Townstar has a starting price of £31,245 (Visia) and finishes at £35,845 (Tekna+).
All versions will come with a 5-year or 100,000-mile warranty on the motor and battery, in addition to an 8-year or 100,000-mile warranty on the battery for the EV version. This includes genuine parts and accessories as well as roadside assistance, providing comprehensive coverage when you need it most.
If you look at the petrol versions, the starting price is £19,475 for a short-wheelbase Visia trim level. It is powered by Nissan’s 1.3-litre TCe petrol engine and has a 6-speed manual transmission.
The most expensive short-wheelbase petrol Townstar, in top-spec Tekna+, costs £23,125. Long-wheelbase petrol versions start at £20,775 (Visia) and go up to £24,425 (Tekna+).
Although having a gas version and an electric version probably doesn’t sound like exciting news for Clean Technica readers, keep in mind that this could actually help businesses and later individuals get into the electric version. Businesses that don’t yet trust electric can get one, and when they get used to the platform, going electric will provide an essentially familiar experience. Decent sales of Ford’s F-150 Lightning prove this theory, as people used to the gasoline version don’t find the electric version intimidatingly foreign and new.
When UK buyers will see them
Petrol and electric versions will start selling on October 1, while pre-orders for both models will open on August 22.
Why no American version?
One of the interesting aspects of the Townstar’s predecessor was its active air cooling. The vehicle would have had a cooling system connected to the vehicle’s air conditioning system to cool the battery. It’s not as good as liquid cooling, but it puts the vehicle above the related Nissan LEAF for commercial users.
For people in the United States, especially in the southern and southwestern regions, having an electric van with some sort of cooling and reasonably priced would have been a great option for all the years the eNV-200 was on sale. But, alas, it wasn’t to be, and we don’t know why.
It would have been a great opportunity for the company to introduce a new electric vehicle to the US market. With a new nameplate, growing demand for electric work vehicles and the beginnings of the success of Ford’s commercial offerings, it would have been a great lower-priced alternative to vehicles like the e-Transit. But, again, Nissan doesn’t seem to want to sell them in the US.
Nissan needs to rethink this strategy, and perhaps even step up and offer larger electric-powered vehicles as well. While the Townstar wouldn’t have been the most compelling option for U.S. buyers who want larger vehicles, it would have at least given Nissan a foothold in the growing commercial electric vehicle market.
Featured image courtesy of Nissan UK.
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