With the prominence of its plug-in light van, the E-NV200, Nissan looks to be well placed to capitalise on the accelerating swing towards electric vehicles. Lazzari claims E-NV200 sales were up 17% in the first eight months of the year and is confident the brand’s investment in EV technology will ensure it remains the market leader.
He is not too concerned that the charging infrastructure is not yet in place to meet the anticipated surge in demand because he argues that most EV users charge their vans at home or at work, rather than at public charging points.
He also predicts greater use of vehicle-to-grid technologies in the future to help the UK’s electricity supply work more efficiently by allowing EVs to take electricity from the grid when demand is low and return it when demand increases.
“EV infrastructure is growing rapidly and we will see a further shift in charging patterns with the arrival of vehicle-to-grid technologies in the coming years,” claims Lazzari. “For now, there are over 12,000 public charge points in the UK and we welcome any advances in infrastructure that enhance awareness and adoption of electric vehicles.”
ABOVE: E-NV200: The UK’s top selling electric van
Nissan’s alliance partner Renault has recently revealed a plug-in version of its large van the Master, upon which the Nissan NV400 is based. Lazzari, however, would not be drawn on whether the brand would introduce an electric NV400, insisting the company does not comment on its future product plans.
Another Renault-derived product is the Trafic-based NV300 medium van and Lazzari credits the introduction of the long-awaited successor to the Primastar in December 2016 as finally giving Nissan a credible competitor in the largest segment of the market.
So with such a comprehensive line-up is Nissan poised to punch its weight in the light commercial market at last? Lazzari thinks so: “Nissan has a really strong LCV line-up and is now positioned perfectly to meet the needs of companies large and small, whatever size of vehicle they’re after,” he claims.
“Add to that our market leading five-year/100,000-mile warranty, and our electric vehicle expertise with the market-leading e-NV200, and we have an added advantage over other manufacturers in offering a true one-stop shop for all light commercial vehicle requirements.”