Could Small 2015 Chevy City Express Van Offer All-Electric Model?

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This morning, Chevrolet announced that in the fall of 2014, it will start selling a small commercial van called the City Express in the U.S. and Canada.

That van will be provided by Nissan, which already sells it as the NV200, with the substitution of a Chevrolet grille and badges.

All-electric Chevy van?

Here's our question: Since it's well known that Nissan is testing an all-electric version of the NV200 and plans to offer it for sale too within a few years, could Chevy end up selling an all-electric van as well?

We asked both Chevrolet and Nissan that question.

Nissan corporate communications director Travis Parman responded, "No additional details have been released."

And General Motors communications director Dave Roman said the 2014 Chevrolet City Express will be sold with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a continuously variable transmission (CVT), both presumably similar to their Nissan equivalents.

The current 2013 Nissan NV200 small commercial van is built in Cuernavaca, Mexico, which will also supply the 2015 City Express models to Chevrolet.

GM will announce pricing for the City Express van closer to its on-sale date.

Nissan eNV200 tests going well

While the gasoline version of the Nissan NV200 is now on sale as a 2013 model--starting at a base price of $19,990 before the mandatory delivery fee--the electric version is being tested in various urban markets around the world.

Nissan first revealed the e-NV200 in the U.S. at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show in January that year. Last September, it announced that it would test the electric van in the U.S. too.

We drove a prototype e-NV200 electric van in Japan last October, and found it peppier than the Japanese gasoline-powered version, which uses a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and five-speed automatic transmission.

The electric version of the NV200 uses the same24-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack and 80-kilowatt (110-hp) electric motor, driving the front wheels, that are used in the Nissan Leaf electric car.

For the North American launch, Nissan will almost surely build the battery packs and electric motors for the e-NV200 in the same plants where it now builds those components for 2013 Nissan Leafs assembled in Smyrna, Tennessee.

As of last month, Nissan says, the tests of the Nissan e-NV200 electric van have been going quite well, and drivers are happy with the development vehicles.

For a walkaround and more information on the e-NV200 at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, see our video here.


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