Just like Tesla Motors, Nissan is taking the next step in their electric car sequel. Borrowing the front part from the Leaf and the rear from an already successful taxi called NV200, the company led by Carlos Ghosn has announced its decision to roll out yet another electric car, the e-NV200.
The e-NV200 is basically a reincarnated Leaf, because it shares the same powertrain and the same color, but this one has a distinct purpose: for taxiing and as a utility car.
They’ll make the e-NV200 in Spain, in Barcelona, at the same factory that they’re now using for making the standard NV200. Nissan has invested some 100 million euros into the factory and will create another 700 jobs for the local community. 2013 will probably see the e-NV200 coming out the production lines and will probably be commercialized starting 2014.
Just like Ford with their electric Focus, Nissan is now trying to save money on design by relying on an already tested market for the car they are bringing to life. But that’s not always a wise decision. While some cars have been historically successful because they had good gasoline engines or because of their unique shape, they may not be as successful with an electric motor inside, just because they don’t stand out.
The e-NV200 may eventually be an exception, since the car won’t be bought to satisfy the electric fantasies of some, but will play a clearly defined role in some company whose manager just wants to reduce costs in the long run. But the general idea is that you have to make the technology stand out on the inside and on the outside. Otherwise it’s just like hiding a pack of batteries in the gas tank and installing a buzzer to sound like an engine, so nobody notices you’re different. You get the picture.