On the back of successful trial programs in other countries, delivery giant FedEx will trial a fleet of Nissan e-NV200 vans this year.

The all-electric cargo van has already been tested by FedEx in Japan, Singapore, the United Kingdom and Brazil, but now Nissan and FedEx are teaming up for U.S. trials.

FedEx Express will test a fleet of vans in Washington, D.C. from this year, in an effort to cut environmental impact and determine how usable the vehicles are out in the real world.

To this end, the electric NV200 takes its drivetrain from the Nissan Leaf, with an 80 kW electric motor and 100-mile range.

While this suggests a relatively low range compared to the usual gasoline or diesel van, electric vans are entirely suitable for shorter runs. FedEx will test its fleet of vans in the Washington area as delivery vehicles--which typically travel relatively short distances even during a busy day's shift.

It will help both FedEx and Nissan determine its viability for the role, before Nissan begins full-scale production of the vehicle later this year in Europe.

The e-NV200 itself is already well-tested, with prototypes hitting Japanese roads as early as 2011. Since then, FedEx has tested the vehicle in several cities. The vehicle has also been converted for taxi use, with both New York City and London showing an interest.

As well as reducing the cost of use for companies like FedEx, electric vans like the e-NV200 will help contribute to company sustainability programs--in FedEx's case, its EarthSmart program. The company has a history of exploring alternatives to its existing fleet, and prior to the e-NV200 has already utilized electric vehicles in fleets around the world.

"As a global fleet operator serving 220 countries and territories worldwide, FedEx is committed to improving the efficiency of its vehicles as part of our EarthSmart initiatives," explained Mitch Jackson, vice president of Environmental Affairs and Sustainability at FedEx.


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