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Consumer Reports auto experts report from the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Nissan e-NV200 Concept

What is it? An electric version of New York City’s next taxicab, the e-NV200 uses the powertrain from the Nissan Leaf electric car--only presumably with a much larger lithium-ion battery pack. Nissan claims the e-NV200 will have the range of a Leaf (a claimed 100 miles, or a real-world 75 in our testing), with no reduction in interior volume or payload. It will be available in cargo and passenger configurations--or, of course, as a taxicab. It will use an 80 kW (107 hp) electric motor with 207 lb.-ft. of torque at zero rpm. Expect front-wheel-drive. Gas powered versions (such as the NV200-based New York taxicab) will also be available.

What is new or notable? The e-NV200 will join the electric Ford Transit Connect in the market for small electric delivery vans in the U.S. They share a similar layout to the Bright Idea electric van from an Indiana-based startup company funded by a Department of Energy advanced vehicle loan program. At least it should cut delivery costs compared to gasoline vans for companies that decide to use it.

When will it be available? Late 2013

Consumer Reports New cars: A to Z

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