There’s an “exciting” opportunity for Nissan dealers to target small urban businesses with the new electric version of the Townstar small panel van, says its dealer fleet boss.
“It will do well in the corporate public sector and will pick up where e-NV200 left off, but actually the SME market is going to be exciting,” said Nissan head of national dealer fleet Marco Capozzoli.
“Think about the London area as an example: there’s a scrappage payment up to £7,500 plus the £2,500 EV grant – that will make it really affordable to people who are in that zone.
“We just have to be clever with our captive finance house in terms of how we position the package, so for example, we’re looking at a halo product based on a one-year lease that’s going to include your charger and maintenance,” he told Fleet News and AM group editor Stephen Briers
Nissan has reinforced the importance of its retail network when it comes to sales of the new Townstar EV small panel van.
“Our strategy is to use the dealer network for sales – it’s about value rather than volume,” said Nissan LCV category manager, UK, Francesco Russiello. “We want to attract the local customer which means aftersales and the expertise of the LCV network is important.”
The network of 37 van centres includes 13 superfleet dealers who are responsible for the larger corporate and leasing business, which Nissan terms ‘institutional fleet’.
This approach also extends to the manufacturer’s mid-size Interstar and large Primastar vans.
“We don’t want to be distracted in the converter world, so we make type approved panel, dropside and box vans which make up 80% of the market and these are sold through the dealer network,” Russiello said.
“This year we are building our business back up again after growing our market share in 2022. We are tailoring the right product for the right customers.”
More than 90% of Townstar registrations will be electric, according to Nissan, as it unveiled the new powertrain option for the small panel van at the CV Show.
The Townstar EV replaces the e-NV200 and will offer zero-emission range of 183 miles WLTP combined (or up to 269 miles on the city cycle).
Nissan expects to sell 2,800 Townstar EVs in a full year, exceeding the eNV200’s best year of 2,400.
With a similar payload and load space to the petrol version, and capable of towing up to 1,500kg, the Townstar EV is priced from £30,000 (after the plug-in van grant), around £10,000 more than the petrol variant. It will be available as L1 short wheelbase from June (L2 long wheelbase will follow in August) and with four grades.
Its 45kWh battery offers both AC charging (11kW or 22kW) and 80kW DC quick charging, which charges the battery from 15% to 80% in as little as 37 minutes. Battery thermal cooling is standard with the 22kW AC and 80kW DC CCS charging from Acenta grade onward.
The van comes with Nissan’s standard five-year or 100,000-mile van warranty but extends the offering to eight years on the battery state of health up to 70%.