Nissan LEAF truck being tested in Japan
According to Nissan's Japanese-language corporate news site, the company began testing a new electric truck this month based on the Nissan LEAF's powertrain and built on an NT400 chassis - a truck called the Cabstar in the UK and similar to the Mitsubishi Fuso Canter and other small delivery trucks sold globally.
The experimental e-NT400 utilizes the LEAF's 80 kW motor, 24 kWh battery pack, and other components. Its range is about 38 miles and it recharges to 80 percent in about 30 minutes from a 50 kW CHADeMO charger.
While thirty-eight miles doesn't sound like much, for an urban delivery truck like this, it's adequate. The duty cycle of a small box truck such as the NT400 is typically within twenty miles of its home base and well-positioned chargers at loading docks at the truck's home yard would mean recharging could happen while the truck is being loaded, which typically happens several times daily as deliveries are done throughout the day to and from the home dock.
Although details are scant, we can assume that the test period is to see whether this configuration is suitable for a small production run of these trucks for commercial purchase. Many businesses, especially in Japan which has heavy incentives for green energy use, could benefit from a truck like this and if the market is good, expansion of the offering to Europe or even parts of North America is not out of the question.
The truck is operating in Toyama, Japan and Nissan has not said how long the testing will be conducted.