The next big shift in electric van development will be to more than double range capacity, according to Nissan.

Jean-Pierre Diernaz, Nissan’s electric vehicle director, Europe told What Van? this could happen “sooner than you expect” and added: “It’s not that complex, we have 10 years experience since we started to look at it.”

Nissan quotes a maximum range of 106 miles between charges for its E-NV200 but admits this is optimistic under real driving conditions, with about 70 miles likely to be more realistic.

For the E-NV200 Nissan has combined elements of its Leaf electric car with the load carrying capabilities of the conventional NV200 van.

Diernaz pointed out that the electric van’s top payload of 770kg, made possible by a reduced axle weight, according to the manufacturer, was not compromised compared to the diesel version.

“We can turn the package as we want,” he claimed.

Diernaz said there were already more than 150 ultra-low emission zones in Europe and that this number would grow as more cities adopted them. A “game changer” for the E-NV200 in facilitating deliveries compared to non-electric vans, he claimed, was its ability to pick up and drop off goods indoors.

Diernaz asserted the issue of air quality was also critical in driving up EV sales because it impacted people more immediately than the concept of global warming.

“Air quality is [about] your health and the health of your kids,” he said.

Diernaz said the seven-seater E-NV200 launched in June completed the line-up and was ideal for use as a city shuttle service vehicle.

Nissan sold 243 E-NV200s in the UK in the first five months of the year, compared to 404 last year from its launch in July.

The brand used the climax of its initial season as the official automotive partner of the  Uefa Champions league to promote its electric vehicle credentials during the weekend of the event’s final between Barcelona and Juventus in Berlin.

The brand installed 129 EV charging points across the city, which it said would remain in place to provide an improved charging infrastructure for plug-in vehicle users. Nissan also supplied more than 100 EVs, including passenger carrying Combi and Evalia E-NV200s as well as Leaf cars, to Uefa and its sponsors to transport guests to the final at the Olympiastadion.