Nissan has unveiled its latest innovative concept project, an all-electric ice-cream van that promises to deliver zero-emissions, renewable energy powered, ice-cream.
The concept van, which incorporates refrigerators powered by roof-mounted solar panels and a battery storage system, demonstrates the potential of electric vans to be used as a replacement to diesel-fuelled equivalents.
“Ice cream is enjoyed the world over, but consumers are increasingly mindful of the environmental impact of how we produce such treats, and the ‘last mile’ of how they reach us,” Nissan Motor’s managing director in Britain Kalyana Sivagnanam said.
“This project is a perfect demonstration of Nissan’s Intelligent Mobility strategy, applying more than a decade of EV experience and progress in battery technology to create cleaner solutions for power on the go – in ways customers might not expect.”
The prototype is based on Nissan’s e-NV2000 all-electric light commercial van and has incorporated a collection of Nissan’s clean energy technology offerings, including an additional battery storage system and solar panel embedded into the van’s roof.
The all-electric van eliminates the need for a diesel engine that would otherwise be left idling to provide power to refrigerators.
Nissan teamed up with Scottish ice-cream maker Mackie’s to develop the ice cream van concept, launching in time for Clean Air Day. Mackie’s has adopted a ‘sky-to-scoop’ approach to the sustainability of its ice-cream production, which it powers on-site with 100% renewable energy.
“At Mackie’s we’ve already shifted our dependence from fossil-fuels on to clean renewable power. We now export 4.5 times more energy to the national grid than we consume.” Mackie’s marketing director Karin Hayhow said.
“This year we will make further progress towards our vision with the installation of an innovative new low-carbon refrigeration system. We’re proud to be a ‘climate positive’ ice cream maker.”
The van’s refrigerators are powered by a dedicated battery storage system, using Nissan’s ROAM system, which has been designed as a portable power pack, and uses recycled lithium-ion batteries recovered from early first-generation Nissan electric vehicles.
Nissan hopes to make the portable ROAM system available later in 2019, targeting both professional uses as well as leisure applications, such as camping.
The e-NV200 has a driving range of up to 124 miles (200km), with the two ROAM battery devices integrated into the van providing a combined 1.4 kWh of storage.
The e-NV200 charging technology incorporates bi-directional charging, allowing for the van’s battery to store surplus energy, and feed it back into the electricity grid when needed.
The feature could allow vans to provide grid balancing services, as well as generating an additional source of revenue for van owners when not in use.
Nissan is set to launch the next generation of its succesful all-electric Nissan Leaf vehicle in Australia next-month.
Michael Mazengarb is a journalist with RenewEconomy, based in Sydney. Before joining RenewEconomy, Michael worked in the renewable energy sector for more than a decade.