New zero-emission ice cream van

Nissan has created a state-of-the-art electric ice cream van – with the groundbreaking zero emissions vehicle complete with a fridge, freezer, solar panels and soft-serve machine

Parents and children currently find themselves queueing up for an ice cream while a van pumps out harmful emissions from its idling engine.

It is an issue which is prompting councils across the UK to consider banning them in town centres while older vans in London face huge costs to drive into the Ultra Low Emission Zone.

Now Nissan has teamed up with ethical ice cream producer Mackie’s of Scotland to create an all-electric, zero emission solution.

The prototype, which is based on the Nissan e-NV200 electric van, has been fitted with a soft-serve machine, freezer drawer and drinks fridge.

Ice cream is served from a hatch that opens in the side of the vehicle, with the vendor dispensing ice cream standing next to the van.

It also has contactless bank card and smartphone payments via a ‘tap-to-pay’ panel mounted on the side of the van.

The van has a driving range of up to 124-miles between charges, courtesy of the 40kWh battery, while the equipment is powered by the newly-unveiled Nissan Energy ROAM.

ROAM is a portable power pack that uses lithium-ion cells recovered from early first-generation Nissan electric vehicles, providing a sustainable second-life for Nissan EV batteries.

The power packs can be recharged from either a 230v mains supply or the solar panel array on the van’s roof.

Kalyana Sivagnanam, managing director, Nissan Motor (GB) Ltd. 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.”  

Nissan has taken the ICE (internal combustion engine) out of the ice cream van to coincide with Clean Air Day (today – June 20).

The concept is a working demonstration of Nissan’s ‘Electric Ecosystem’, combining a zero-emission drivetrain, second-life battery storage and renewable solar energy generation.

And instead of a speaker playing a jingle to attract customers, the concept has a smart button that generates a tweet of the van’s precise location using the global addressing service What3Words.

What3Words divides the entire world into 3m x 3m locations, each with a unique three word address, e.g. ///trendy.angel.define is a spot on Brighton & Hove’s seafront.

It means customers can easily find the exact location of the van in a park or sea front where normal street addressing would not apply.

Nissan chose to partner with Mackie’s of Scotland for the project, with the ice cream company using renewable energy from wind and solar on its dairy farm.

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”.

Through a V2G (Vehicle-to-Grid) charger, the e-NV200’s battery can be used to store surplus energy from the national grid and then provide it back to the grid when it’s needed.

This technology can help to balance out the peaks in national energy demands, as well as providing EV owners with additional revenue from their vehicle when it’s not being driven.

Chris Large, senior partner, Global Action Plan, added: “The Clean Air Day campaign is here to celebrate innovation and accelerate action.

“We welcome Nissan’s efforts to make ice cream vans that serve up toxic fumes a thing of the past. “Schoolchildren campaigning for the Clean Van Commitment sent a video message to all van fleets encouraging them to get millions more electric vans on to UK roads in place of diesels. “I think those children would love this project.”


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