The Nissan Townstar Electric is the electrified version of the petrol-only Nissan Townstar van. The electric Townstar is also the replacement for the hugely popular and influential Nissan eNV200. It therefore has pretty big shoes to fill.
Nissan, though, were pioneers of the electric van market. Along with Renault, they led the industry in electrifying their small vans. The Nissan Townstar Electric is the natural successor to what was the Nissan Leaf-based Nissan eNV200, except there's now a big difference.
As the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance partnership evolves, Nissan has instead opted to borrow from its alliance partner Renault. The Nissan Townstar Electric is therefore based on the Renault Kangoo E-Tech. That also makes the Nissan Townstar Electrica relation of the Renault-built Mercedes-Benz eCitan.
It's a pretty messy muddle of names and vans. In a nutshell, Renault makes'em and Nissan and Merc fiddle with them. There are differences thouhg, and Nissan has gone to great lengths to try and sell something different.
Well, that's one thing that is the same for all three vans.
The Townstar Electric uses a 45kWh battery which is paired to a motor producing 90kW (121hp) and 245Nm of torque.
The electric Townstar has a range of up to 183 miles (WLTP combined) which is said to be a 43% improvement over the Nissan eNV200.
Its maximum claimed city range according to the WLTP city cycle is 269 miles.
Would you be surprised if we told you that the Nissan Townstar Electric's 90kW motor is definitely enough to whip the van along at a decent lick?
It's the equivalent of 121hp, which is usually around the top output for most diesel alternatives. The Nissan Townstar van range doesn't offer a diesel model in the UK, there's only a 131hp petrol, but the key difference is the availability of the 245Nm of torque from the moment you press the accelerator pedal.
It makes a real difference to the van's performance. The lack of gear changes also plays a big factor too. The petrol option still has 240Nm of torque and more power, but it just can't compete with an electric van.
The Townstar Electric isn't lightening quick, it'll do 0-60mph in a leisurely 14 seconds, according to Nissan. But, it does pull away eagerly from a standstill. It's also quiet when doing so, and there's not much in the way of wind noise around the mirrors or A-pillar, and conversations won't be drowned out by the hum of the road. Overall it's a very well built and insulated vehicle. In other words, it's nothing like the Nissan eNV200!
Despite being electric it gets a traditional gear selector that you’d find in an ICE engine vehicle. However, pushing to the right gives you access to three levels of regenerative braking (B1, B2 or B3).
An Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control system with lane departure warning and Lane Keeping Assist do a good job of gently manoeuvring the vehicle in a non-intrusive way.
The cabin is well insulated from road noise and there’s also very little in the way of wind noise that you’d usually find around the A-pillars.
Like its Renault and Mercedes siblings, the Townstar Electric is a comfortable and engaging van to be in, with excellent all round visibility.
The small van sector is packed full of vans that are good to drive, but as an EV the Townstar is up there with the best and just has the edge over the Vauxhall Combo Electric and the other Stellantis small vans.
Nissan has packed the electric Townstar with more than 20 new technology and safety features. These include Intelligent Emergency Braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection. There’s also Junction Assist and a new Hands-Free Parking system. Using an array of cameras around the vehicle there is also a 360-degree camera system. This provides an overhead view of the surrounding area for safer low speed manoeuvres. Radar systems allow the Townstar Electric to have an Intelligent Cruise Control system too.
Electric Townstar customers also get the ProPilot advanced driver assistance system. This allows the vehicle to automatically slow to a full stop and then accelerate away. This is part of adaptive cruise control to zero and also means that the van can follow the vehicle ahead, as well as keeping it centred in the lane or while going around a gentle curve.
The interior has an 8-inch touchscreen, linked to a 10-inch digital display for the instrument cluster. There’s also Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectiviety as well as wireless phone charging.
The electric Townstar reflects the design cues of Ariya passenger car with standard LED headlamps and an aerodynamic front shield with Kumiko pattern. It also has “air-curtains” to optimise airflow around the front bumper and front wheels. This improves the aerodynamics of the van.
The rear loadspace has space for up to 4.3m3 while the maximum payload of the Nissan Townstar Electric with a petrol engine is 800kg. This will likely come in at 650kg for the electric van.
The van has a 5-Year or 100,000-mile warranty and for the electric van there is also an eight-year or 100,000-mile battery warranty.