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All-electric commercial Nissan van to get plugged in by 2013

We already know about the Chevy Volt and how you can drive around town without ever visiting a gas station. We also know about the Nissan Leaf and how you can do the same, but what about work vehicles? Apparently, Nissan is planning a pure-electric commercial van, and it’ll be ready for customers by 2013.

They’re not exactly forthcoming with all the juicy details, but the yet to be named electric cargo van from Nissan will be similar ot the Ford Transit Connect Electric. You don’t need any gas or diesel, relying instead on a pure electric powertrain.

Since Nissan already has the technology in place with the Leaf subcompact, all they have to do is make a beefier version, shoehorn it into a commercial van frame, strip out some of the creature comforts, and away you go. This sounds like a good idea, but I think it could have one very big hitch.   Delivery vans tend to only drive within a limited area, but they still do a lot of driving each day. If you think about using it as a Fedex delivery truck, for example, that guy probably covers a fair bit of ground over the course of a single shift. Can the all-electric Nissan van have enough range on a single charge to cover the whole shift? How quickly can it recharge? Or will they have a hot-swap battery configuration?  Those are key issues that Nissan will need to address by 2013.

About Michael Kwan

A freelance writer and tech geek from Vancouver. Find me at michaelkwan.com and follow me on Twitter @michaelkwan.

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