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Nissan has unveiled the new Nissan Townstar Van L2 (long wheelbase) model, the latest addition to its light commercial vehicle (LCV) lineup in Europe.

The new model caters to the evolving needs of SME owners and fleets with an extended length of 4910mm. This makes it nearly comparable to the size of a mid-sized van. The additional length allows for a wider side door of 831mm, enabling customers to load one Euro pallet and providing greater loading options compared to competitors.

Side profile of a white Nissan Townstar L2 van on a white background

Cargo capacity for the Townstar Van L2 is an impressive 4.3m³ up by one cubic metre from the L1 model's capacity of 3.3m³.

The van can still accommodate two Euro pallets while offering additional space. Moreover, the new model has a payload capacity of up to 800kg, thanks to revised rear suspension, and maintains a maximum towing capacity of 1,500kg.

The Townstar Van L2 is available in both electric and internal combustion engine (ICE) versions.

The Nissan Townstar Electric variant offers an urban cycle range of up to 242 miles and a total combined range of up to 171 miles.

Nissan Townstar in white on a white background, front three quarters picture.

It comes with a 45kWh battery that allows for AC (11/22 kW) or DC charging (up to 80kW) and has a 90kW motor with 245Nm of torque.

The van is equipped with a number of safety features common in Nissan models, including Blind Spot Warning, ProPILOT, and the unique-to-segment Intelligent Around View Monitor giving a 360-degree view of the van.

Pre-orders for both the EV and ICE versions of the all-new Nissan Townstar Van L2 are now open, with basic list prices starting from £21,625 for the ICE version and £33,945 for the electric van.

Additionally, Nissan offers a five-year/100,000-mile warranty and an 8-year battery warranty.

The Nissan Townstar and Nissan Townstar Electric are related to the Renault Kangoo and the Renault Kangoo E-Tech, as well as the Mercedes-Benz Citan and the Mercedes-Benz eCitan.

To see more details about the size of the Nissan Townstar L2, you can also read the guide to the Mercedes-Benz Citan dimensions.

Nissan is showcasing its revamped LCV line-up at the Commercial Vehicle Show in Birmingham which includes the all-new Nissan Townstar Electric and Nissan Townstar compact van.

As the LCV market is expected to shift rapidly towards electrification, Nissan aims to help businesses future-proof their operations and has launched the electric Townstar as a zero emission option with a 183 mile range from its 45kWh battery.

The Nissan Townstar Electric has both AC charging (11 kW or 22 kW) or DC CCS quick charging at 80kW available from the Acenta grade trim.

The Townstar EV is priced from £30,000 (CV OTR after discounts from the Plug-In Van Grant) and comes with an eight-year warranty on the battery state of health up to 70% as well as five-year or 100,000-mile warranty on the vehicle.

The Nissan Townstar Electric has a payload of between 600kg and 800kg. It also gets a towing capacity of up to 1,500kg.

Townstar EV has a load volume of between 3.3m3 and 4.3m3 which is enough to carry two Euro pallets in even the short wheelbase van.

It comes with a wide range of ADAS systems that include both active and passive safety technologies. These range from Blind Spot Warning, Hands-Free Parking, Active Cruise Control, Intelligent Emergency Braking, Side Wind Assist and Trailer Sway Assist.

Power for the petrol engined Nissan Townstar comes from a turbocharged 1.3-litre engine producing 128hp.

Also on display is the mid-size Nissan Primastar and larger Nissan Interstar models.

Michael Auliar, sales director at Nissan GB, said: "This event provides an excellent platform for us to demonstrate our new-look LCV range. We look forward to connecting with attendees and sharing how Nissan can support their evolving transportation needs."

To most, Nissan is not your typical van manufacturer. Few people would think to include them on a list of people that make vans.

Sure they've had a few in the past, and they were well known for their pick-up trucks at one point but they fade in and out of the background.

But Nissan does have some history when it comes to electric vans. some clout in electric vehicles. The Nissan eNV200 has flown the flag for EV vans single handed for more than a decade

Yet history counts for little in a fast-evolving economy that’s blossomed not only during the pandemic with home-delivery and e-commerce purchases but in the recovery period post-Covid. It's time for a makeover.

While overall van sales may have been down last year – from December 2021 to December 2022 there were 20% fewer registrations – demand is still there and were it not for supply chain issues, parity or even higher levels may have been seen. Nissan on the other hand had a torrid time in the UK where its sales for light commercial vehicles in the year were down 74%, comfortably the largest single loss by all manufacturers in the recorded registrations by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. What was previously a modest 4% market share, slashed to just over 1% behind Iveco and Maxus and marginally ahead of Land Rover – all three of which have fewer products to market.

But perhaps there lies both the problem and the answer. Nissan has been undergoing something of change and 2022 could be seen as a highly transitional year for the brand. In 2021, Nissan COO Ashwani Gupta said the company was enter a new “fourth phase” in its Alliance with Renault and Mitsubishi – a simplification of the principals of sticking to what each brand knows best.

Nissan’s portfolio was trimmed and the well-known and well-liked, but by no means successful, Navara was dropped in what turned out to be a noticeable departure from the pick-up sector for several brands. Less celebrated models like the NT400 (better known as the Cabstar) were also shuffled out of the door less conspicuously. Throw in the component shortages experienced by all manufacturers and a relaunch of the names used for the entire Nissan van range in September 2021 and it’s little wonder that the visibility of the Nissan LCV range has diminished somewhat.

According to Nissan's Europe LCV manager, the name change was an effort to give the vans more character and personality, ditching the numerical patterns in favour of the previously used and recognised Primastar and Interstar badges while adding Nissan Townstar and Nissan Townstar Electric into the mix.

Even more significant changes have been announced recently with a restructuring of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. Share allocations have been changed to give Renault and Nissan a more equal footing with Renault reducing its stake in Nissan to 15% from 43.4%. Renault will place around 28% of its Nissan shares in a French trust making the two more equal partners – a contentious topic since Renault bailed out the much larger Nissan in 1999. The two firms will then move on with a 15% cross-shareholding with equal voting rights, which once approved will improve the relations and strength within the Alliance.

The next step has been to outline a roadmap to 2030 where the focus will be electric vehicles. Across all vehicle types it will see an investment of €23bn more being spent on electrification over the next five years. The result will be 35 new models by 2030. The overall aim is to simplify production, utilising common platforms. By 2026, 80% of the Alliance’s outputs will be on a shared platform, up from 60%, for 90 combined models. Of the 35 new models due by the end of the decade, 90% will be based on just five shared EV platforms and includes the LCV-EV Family platform that is the basis for the Renault Kangoo and Nissan Townstar.

There will also be a common battery strategy, with planned breakthrough battery innovations and a production capacity for 220 GWh. It also hopes to reduce battery costs by 50% in 2026 and 65% by 2028. There will be further investment in solid-state batteries, with an aim to begin production by 2028, ultimately leading to cost-parity with ICE vehicles.

While much of the outlook is focused towards car production as well as the prospect of connected vehicles through the Alliance Cloud – where more than 45 models and 10 million vehicles will be equipped with autonomous systems – the strategy for Nissan LCVs will be centred around their retail offer, meeting tougher emissions standards and catering for an increasing demand for last-mile delivery.

Although Nissan confirms that those plans don’t currently entail a return to the pick-up truck segment for Nissan, there will be a renewed focus on smaller fleets and owner drivers. While Nissan has always enjoyed success in the fleet sector, Limbert believes new products like the Townstar are best targeted at customers who will appreciate the added technology like Around View Monitor which is unique to the Nissan.

While certainly not starting afresh, it feels like Nissan now has an opportunity to pursue loftier goals in the LCV sector. Could a revitalised range be the catalyst for growth? Only time will tell but the processes and products are falling in to place for that to happen.

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