Nissan's electric ice-cream van promises clean and cold summer treats
Nissan has wheeled out another concept vehicle that demonstrates both the versatility of its NV series vans and the potential of its power packs based on recycled batteries. The all-electric ice cream van is not only driven by electric propulsion, but also leans on clean energy to keeps its onboard treats nice and cool.
The electric ice cream van was developed in collaboration with a family dairy business called Mackie's of Scotland, which runs its farm on wind and solar energy. The project is intended to demonstrate how the whole business operations can be powered by renewables, something it refers to as a Sky to Scoop approach.
Based on Nissan's e-NV200, the same model we saw converted into a versatile mobile office back in 2016, the ice cream van is packed with a 40-kWh battery that allows it to cover 124 mi (200 km) on each charge.
Also onboard is a pair of Nissan's Energy ROAM units, which are portable power packs built with lithium-ion cells retrieved from the company's earlier electric vehicles, such as the Leaf. This is the same approach taken with another Nissan concept van from earlier this year, which amounted to an NV300 packed with power tools for woodworkers on the go.
This time around, the Energy ROAM units combine for a capacity of 1.4 kWh and are each capable of outputting 1 kW. They can be recharged from the grid in around an hour, or via a rooftop solar array in two to four hours. This supplies the power needed to run the van's ice cream machinery, such as the soft serve machine, freezer and drinks fridge.
The electric vehicle is just a one-off concept, but as Nissan rightly points out there are growing concerns over the air pollution generated by traditional diesel-powered ice cream vans. Officials in the UK have proposed tighter rules around their operation and some councils have even banned them, citing health concerns over the diesel fumes.
"Ice cream is enjoyed the world over, but consumers are increasingly mindful of the environmental impact of how we produce such treats, and the 'last mile' of how they reach us," says Kalyana Sivagnanam, managing director, Nissan Motor GB Ltd. "By eliminating harmful tailpipe emissions, and increasing our use of renewable energy, we can help make this a better world for everyone."