YOKOHAMA (Reuters) -- Nissan Motor Corp. will launch an all-electric van this month, persisting with the technology despite a much slower market acceptance than it expected.
The e-NV200 van will go on sale in Europe this month and in Japan in October, the carmaker said on Monday. It is the automaker's second EV after the Leaf car.
The e-NV200 is the second of four zero-emission electric vehicles that Nissan plans to launch by March 2017, Chief Planning Officer Andy Palmer said, declining to disclose an e-NV200 sales target.
While sales of the Leaf, the electric car Nissan launched in December 2010, have grown gradually the vehicle has yet to take off in the way CEO Carlos Ghosn predicted. Global deliveries in the last financial year rose 70 percent to 52,000 vehicles.
Though Ghosn set a target for Nissan and French alliance partner Renault of selling a total 1.5 million electric vehicles by end-March 2017, consumers have been deterred by concerns partly over driving range and the comparative scarcity of charging stations. Since then he has pushed back the target date by two to three years.
As of end-March, the two companies have so far sold a tenth of that target, totaling 150,000 electric vehicles, with the Leaf accounting for most of that.
Renault's electric lineup includes the Zoe subcompact, Fluence sedan, Kangoo delivery van and Twizy quadricycle.
"When it comes to zero emissions, we are absolutely religious," Palmer told reporters at Nissan's headquarters in Yokohama, near Tokyo.
The e-NV200 is designed to run for about 190 kilometers (118 miles) on a single battery charge. In France, the vehicle's list price is 20,610 euros ($28,100), dropping to 14,310 euros once a central government subsidy is applied. In Japan it starts at about 3.9 million yen ($38,100), excluding subsidies.
The e-NV200 will be made at Nissan's plant in Barcelona, Spain, with an annual manufacturing capacity of at least 20,000 electric vans, said Hideyuki Tateno, a Nissan engineer.
Executive Vice President Takao Katagiri said that Nissan chose to develop an electric commercial van since they are often used for deliveries or businesses that run on set routes and limited distances, removing anxieties over driving range.