Nissan Brings LEAF Technology to Electric Trucks

By · October 28, 2011


Nissan's e-NT400 ATLAS Concept.

Nissan isn't just using its experience with electric vehicle batteries to make consumer cars. At the Tokyo Truck Show this week, Nissan's Light Commercial Vehicles unit is showing off several concepts utilizing the energy storage technology available in the LEAF, including an all-electric truck called the ATLAS e-NT400. Based on the popular ATLAS F24, the zero-emissions e-NT400 concept has a cruising range of 100 kilometers, utilizing a similar powertrain to the one found in the LEAF.

Also on display at the show will be two ATLAS variants that run on petroleum but use Nissan's battery technology to power other functions. The ATLAS Refrigerator Van by Li-ion Battery is a refrigerated truck that uses a lithium ion pack to power its refrigeration system, allowing the system to continue running when the engine isn't. Nissan says it's the first truck of its kind in the world. The ATLAS F24 Power Supply truck employs a 72-kWh battery pack (equivalent to three Nissan LEAF packs,) to store and distribute enough emergency electricity to power a 20-person office for 4 hours.

Nissan has already announced that it will market an electric-only version of its NV200 van, which it began testing in July under a program with the Japan Post Service. A gas-powered version of the NV200 was selected earlier this year to be the exclusive taxi vehicle of New York City for the next decade, and at the time of the announcement, several reports suggested that an e-NV200 could begin showing up in New York's taxi fleet in 2017. Information about the electric NV200—including an expected price, range and release date—is still very limited.

Though lithium ion-powered light commercial vehicles are likely still years away from being commonly implemented into fleets, Nissan and other automakers aren't wasting time in preparing to compete in the market. As Nissan points out in its press release, several cities are looking into making their downtown areas emissions-free, which could make small electric trucks and vans like the ATLAS e-NT400, e-NV200, and Ford's Transit Connect Electric a must for transporting goods in and out of those areas.

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