If you’re ready to take the plunge into the world of EVs, but your family circumstances mean seven seats are a must, your choice is rather limited. It’s either a Nissan e-NV200 Combi or, apart from a pricey Tesla Model X, that’s it.
The good news is that, as with the brilliant new Nissan Leaf, this van-based MPV has just been updated with Nissan’s 40kWh battery pack. That means a handy 60 per cent increase in range; judged by the new, more realistic WLTP testing procedure Nissan claims an average of 125 miles, which could rise to as much as 188 miles in the city. Plenty for a week’s worth of school drop-offs and pick-ups.
It’s not the most sophisticated MPV, though. The driving position is typically van-like and very upright. And although the rear doors slide, there’s not a huge amount of space in row two and only small sliding windows, while row three chairs are awkward to fold and get to.
The ride gets bumpier the further back you go, too; there’s no hiding the fact the e-NV200 works best as a van.
However, it is in a class of one and you can still enjoy the silent (if not so swift in this model) driving, while you can get a decent smattering of luxury kit, too. The dash is appealingly car-like and although plush plastics are nowhere to be seen, build quality is good and if Leaf owners are anything to go by, the chances of you having any reliability problems are slim.
More good news is that, although prices and specs have yet to be confirmed, the new e-NV200 may not cost much more than the old one, which makes this all-electric van-cum-MPV look like something of a bargain.