3. It drives very well:
The drivetrain is substantially identical to the LEAF. This means it feels fast and smooth.
4. The range is terrible:
In its initial configuration, the 24 kWh battery is unlikely to produce a greater average range than 70 miles, with 100 miles being a potential in slow city traffic. This makes it OK for "school, soccer field and supermarket" as well as for city delivery services.
5. The space/size ratio is excellent:
The Nissan electric minivan is narrow and short, making it extremely easy to drive and park. Yet, the interior space is outstanding. It is ideal for a trip to IKEA.
What improvements can we expect for the Nissan electric minivan in the next couple of years? I see three major vectors.
A. Larger battery:
Clearly this car could benefit from increasing the battery's capacity from 24 kWh to 36, 48 and 60. In various steps from the initial 70 miles of range, the largest configuration could yield approximately 200 miles of range. This final stage would not appear until late 2016 at the earliest.
B. Longer body:
One can easily envision a version that is a foot longer, which would enable having a third row of seats while still having lots of luggage space. It would still be shorter than most cars.
C. Better driving position:
Clearly the Nissan minivan could benefit from a telescoping steering wheel. The seating position needs to be more comfortable for people who are above six feet tall, and don't have very short legs.