Japanese vehicle manufacturer Nissan has announced that this month will see on-the-road testing of a new electric van.
Based on the compact commercial vehicle NV200, the van will be used by the Japan Post Service Co, Ltd to see if it can operate effectively as a delivery vehicle.
One of the concerns about electric vehicles has been whether or not they can handle day-to-day life, given their reliance on charging points. The experiment in Japan seeks to answer some of the questions and the test vehicle will carry out postal collections and deliveries for two months in the city of Yokohama.
Once the test has been completed, Nissan plans to repeat it elsewhere in Japan and also with companies operating in Europe.
The company, which already produces the electric car the Leaf, believes that expanding the concept to commercial vehicles is the logical next step.
Nissan Corporate Vice President Hideto Murakami said: "The role that can be played by zero emissions vehicles in promoting a balance between economic growth and environmental protection in the realm of logistics is large.
"We will certainly reflect the customer feedback gained from these proving tests in our future product development, and I expect that our commercial electric vehicles based on the NV200 will contribute to our customers' business and to the development of a sustainable society."
The NV200 already has a sound track record. An all-purpose vehicle sold in 40 countries, Nissan sees developing an electric version as playing a key role for its target of becoming the world leader in zero emissions.
Other projects in which Nissan is involved include producing lithium ion batteries, developing charging infrastructure, the development of internal charging equipment and the recycling and reuse of batteries.
Top Image: Japan Post Service Co., Ltd's Test Car - Credit: © Nissan Motor Co. Ltd