Nissan take the first step towards clean, zero-emission ice cream vans
As the great British summer finally decides to grace us with its presence, Nissan has unveiled an all-electric ice cream van that’s less harmful to the environment and to the children (and adults) that buy ice cream from them. The van is a repurposed Nissan e-NV200 which has been refitted and redesigned to serve ice cream whilst having a much smaller carbon footprint compared to conventional diesel ice cream vans. Fitted with solar panels and removable battery power packs to power the freezers, this concept van is here to battle the heat with ultra-cool technology.
The van isn’t just emission-free, it also uses old recycled lithium-ion batteries taken from early first-generation Nissan electric vehicles. These recycled cells are put into the van’s power packs which are used to power the freezers and ice cream machines while the van is parked. Your ordinary diesel ice cream van would leave the engine running whilst stationary, meaning that harmful NOx emissions would be polluted whilst children and adults alike queued for an icy treat. Studies suggest that NOx pollutants can increase the risk of respiratory conditions such as asthma, so Nissan’s emission-free ice cream is certainly a welcome innovation for the sake of our own health!
Rather than relying on a diesel engine to run idle to keep the ice cream cool, the Nissan ice cream van uses the recycled lithium-ion cells to do the same job. It’s quieter and cleaner and just makes a lot more sense.
Furthermore, this particular concept van is serving frozen treats from a popular, eco-friendly ice cream maker called Mackie’s of Scotland. Mackie’s powers its farms using renewable wind and solar energy and is aiming to be Britain’s ‘greenest’ company. Their ice cream is currently the best-selling in Scotland with 32% market share, beating Ben & Jerry’s and Wall’s ice cream and is doing rather well in the rest of the UK as well, with Mackie’s being stocked at all major UK supermarkets.
The special concept van was revealed on 20th June as a celebration of Clean Air Day. Kalyana Sivagnanam, managing director at Nissan, had this to say:
“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.”
The all-electric Nissan ice cream van is powered by a 40kWh battery and has an estimated range of 124 miles, which is more than enough for its purpose. The removable battery packs can be recharged in just an hour when connected to a 230v mains supply. Alternatively, they can be charged with the van’s solar panels in 2-4 hours.
Nissan’s electric approach to ice cream vans isn’t the only new thing. Rather than a classic ‘jingle’, the van has a ‘smart button’ that sends out a tweet once pushed. The tweet will include the current location of the van, whether it be a conventional street address or a a more obscure address such as a beach or park, thanks to the automated service of what3words.com. Couldn’t they have included this new digital ‘jingle’ as well as the classic chiming? We’re not exactly confident that this new ‘innovation’ is entirely good. After all, who even uses Twitter these days?
As well as celebrating Clean Air Day, the Nissan ice cream van is also a demonstration of the company’s Electric Ecosystem as it combines zero-emission drivetrain, second-life battery storage and renewable solar energy generation. It drives a strong message to the automotive industry and sets a good example of just how eco-friendly commercial vehicles can be.
Let us know what you think of this ice cream dream machine in the comments and be sure to sign up to our email list to keep your motor vision 20:20!
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