Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
The e-NV200’s big advantages over diesel-engined vans are that the torque from its electric motor arrives immediately (all 187lb ft of it) and that you don’t have any gears to change though. Driving is therefore seamless and smooth.
The obvious limitation is its shorter service range, but with a battery pack that allows the e-NV200 to cover more than 100 miles on a charge in real-world conditions, many vans, particularly if operated by businesses with set areas of operation, will survive the working day if charged on a nightly basis.
The floor-mounted batteries help to lower its centre of gravity, and, in a high-sided van like this, that certainly makes it feel more planted than the diesel-engined NV200.
The real bonus, however, is in the utter serenity of its driving experience. The 1.5-litre diesel engine in the NV200 is not particularly noisy, unless you have the five-speed manual gearbox and are doing a lot of motorway mileage. But without an engine altogether, the e-NV200 becomes truly relaxing to be in thanks to its sheer quietness. Road noise is present, but only because there is nothing else to drown it out, so it's far from being bothersome.