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Feature | Electric Vehicles | Nissan serves up a treat

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Nissan has unveiled the first zero-emission electric ice cream van in the UK to coincide with Clean Air Day in the UK.

Most ice cream vans, particularly older models, have diesel engines which are kept running to operate the refrigeration equipment. Often these motors are criticised for producing harmful emissions, including black carbon, when left idling.

Some UK towns and cities are now looking to ban or fine these vehicles. In response Nissan has wheeled out a zero-emission ice cream van which presents a potential solution for vendors looking to reduce their carbon footprint, and offer customers a better experience.

The manufacturer partnered with family-owned ice cream producer Mackie’s of Scotland to develop the prototype vehicle which is based on the e-NV200, Nissan’s 100% electric light commercial vehicle. According to Nissan the concept is a working demonstration of its Electric Ecosystem, combining a zero-emission drivetrain, second-life battery storage and renewable solar energy generation.


Kalyana Sivagnanam, managing director, Nissan Motor (GB) said: “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. 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.

“By eliminating harmful tailpipe emissions, and increasing our use of renewable energy, we can help make this a better world for everyone.” Whilst the van’s motor is driven by a 40kWh battery, the on-board ice cream equipment, including a soft-serve machine, freezer drawer and drinks fridge, are powered by the newly unveiled Nissan Energy ROAM, which goes on sale later in 2019.

Designed for both professional and leisure applications, ROAM is a portable power pack that uses lithium-ion cells recovered from early first-generation Nissan electric vehicles (produced from 2010 onwards). This provides a sustainable second-life for Nissan EV batteries.

Karin Hayhow, marketing director at Mackie’s of Scotland said: “We’re delighted to have worked with Nissan on this project as it’s the perfect complement to our own vision of becoming self-sustainable in renewable energy – and eliminating carbon in the journey from ‘Sky to Scoop.’ 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.  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 e-NV200 has an all-electric driving range of up to 124-miles between charges. The two Nissan Energy ROAM units have a combined storage capacity of 1.4kWh and can each output power at up to 1kW. They can be recharged either from a 230v mains supply (a full recharge takes about an hour), or the solar panel array on the van’s roof (a full recharge in 2-4 hours). It also uses twitter to broadcast its location rather than traditional jingles.