Category Archives: e-NV200 Camper Van

News and reviews on the Nissan e-NV200 Taxi.

Dalbury E Electric campervan (Image: Hillside)

The Dalbury E – Electric Campervan Review

Introduction

I own a T5 campervan and use it as my daily driver for getting to work and back, but the main reason for owning a campervan is for family holidays and short breaks. I have two children under 10 and my family have enjoyed touring the South of France as well as many spontaneous long weekends away in the UK. When Hillside Leisure first told me they were launching The World’s First Electric Campervan at the Motorhome and Caravan show in Birmingham I was excited. Not only do I love everything campervan and camping but I also have a great interest in all things gadget and electric – especially when they can transport you from A to B with zero emissions! Hillside Leisure invited me to the launch to take a few photos but when they asked if I would like to take it out, I jumped at the chance!

First Impressions

Coming from a background of owning a Volkswagen Transporter, my first thoughts turned to the base vehicle – a Nissan e-NV200. It doesn’t have as much history as the VW, but if anyone was going to take a campervan into the all electric age it would have to be a high tech Japanese manufacturer and I think it’s apt that Nissan brought out an electric base van. Nissan already manufacture the popular Nissan Leaf which has gained a huge EV following and this means they already know a thing or two about designing efficient electric vehicles.

Dalbury E Electric campervan (Image: Hillside)
Dalbury E Electric campervan (Image: Hillside)

On first inspection of the outside I thought the Nissan had a futuristic face with the nose showing an indication of a secret compartment and the colour choice of ‘electric’ blue was spot on. Although this was a base specification, the vehicle will benefit further from colour coded bumpers and alloy wheels as options available from Hillside Leisure. There’s not much on the outside to give the “all electric” game away apart from a few chrome badges showing “Zero Emission” and part of me felt it should have a few snazzy graphics hinting at electricity to stand out and be noticed as a pioneer and trend setter – another part of me realised that most owners would probably prefer a low profile.

Read more: Hillside Leisure Blog

Hillside Leisure's Dalbury electric campervan (Image: T. Larkum)

A World First… Hillside’s Dalbury e-NV200 Campervan

Hillside Leisure's Dalbury electric campervan (Image: T. Larkum)
Hillside Leisure’s Dalbury electric campervan (Image: T. Larkum)

In October our family visited the Motorhome and Caravan Show at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC), Birmingham. Although we have a general interest in motorhoming, and have taken a number of holidays by motorhome, I had a particular aim to see the new all-electric Dalbury campervan being launched by Hillside Leisure.

Dalbury campervan - note pop-up roof (Image: T. Larkum)
Dalbury campervan – note pop-up roof (Image: T. Larkum)

It is claimed to be the World’s First Electric Campervan, and is based on the Nissan e-NV200 electric van which is itself derived from the Nissan Leaf electric car. From a little bit of Googling it does seem like it really is the world’s first production campervan, in other words if you exclude private conversions of conventional campervans.

Driver's compartment with passenger's seat reversed (Image: T. Larkum)
Driver’s compartment with passenger’s seat reversed (Image: T. Larkum)

I was pretty impressed with it as a package. There are the usual driver and passenger seats up front, except that the passenger seat is able to rotate around to face the rear. The large sliding door on the left side provides good access to the central ‘lounge’ area; here there is a large bench seat with two seatbelts that folds down to convert into a bed when required.

Lounge with view looking forward (Image: T. Larkum)
Lounge with view looking forward (Image: T. Larkum)

Along the inside wall opposite the door are the camping facilities inside a fitted wooden unit. Top left is a cutlery/storage drawer which slides to the left to reveal a twin gas ring stove; underneath this is the fridge. Top right is the sink with hot and cold taps; below it is storage. Further right/back are the electrical sockets and controls with more storage below. Opening the rear doors provides access to the gas bottles and water tank.

Lounge with view looking to the rear (Image: T. Larkum)
Lounge with view looking to the rear (Image: T. Larkum)

Above the lounge is a pop-up roof that provides enough room to in the vehicle to stand up. In addition, bed boards can be fitted so that two people (realistically, children) can sleep there, so providing the vehicle with 4 sleeping berths in total.

View through the rear doors (Image: T. Larkum)
View through the rear doors (Image: T. Larkum)

Overall, we were very impressed with the Dalbury. It would be ideal for a couple to use for motorhoming though, at a push, it could take a family of four (at least if the children are young). It certainly represents an attractive idea: take a touring holiday, driving from one campsite to another each day, charging up overnight, and never paying for fuel!

A look inside the pop-up roof (Image: T. Larkum)
A look inside the pop-up roof (Image: T. Larkum)

Even better, I think it would be a good daily driver that also holds the promise of weekending away whenever you want, particularly for a couple. It’s small enough to be a primary vehicle, with parking being straightforward so it can be used for shopping and other errands. Unlike other campervans the fuel cost is so low that you wouldn’t hesitate to use it for commuting. Come the weekend you put in your bedding and fill the fridge and you can weekend away at virtually no more cost than staying at home.

We liked it a lot, and are looking at opportunities for hiring it to try it out ‘in the wild’. Roll on the good weather!

Hillside Leisure to launch all-electric powered camper van

Nissan e-NV200 Electric Motorhome exterior (Image: Hillside Leisure)
Nissan e-NV200 Electric Motorhome exterior (Image: Hillside Leisure)

A DERBY motorhome firm is set to launch what it believes will be the world’s first all-electric powered camper van.

Hillside Leisure UK, based in Chequers Lane, has devised and built the vehicle, which is based on the Nissan e-NV200 electric van. The firm is now set to unveil the machine, which it says is the first commercially available camper van of its kind, at the Motorhome and Caravan Show 2014 this month.

Hillside is launching the vehicle in response to the growing demand for more environmentally-friendly vehicles that produce zero emissions. According to figures compiled by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, sales of electric cars in the UK have recently topped 10,000. They are popular because they are cheaper to run, both in terms of fuel and maintenance costs.

This year, commercial electric vans have hit the market – including the e-NV200, the van which HiIllside has chosen to convert. It has packed its van with all mod cons, including a cooker, fridge, water tank and lighting. It can provide one to four berths, with the rear seat converting to a bed.

Nissan e-NV200 Electric Motorhome interior (Image: Hillside Leisure)
Nissan e-NV200 Electric Motorhome interior (Image: Hillside Leisure)

Mark Cross, director of Hillside Leisure, said:

“We believe this conversion will be a first in the industry, indeed in the world, and the start of the electric revolution in our market.

“We went to great lengths to ensure delivery of the new Nissan e-NV200 electric van, which is the first one in the country, and we’ve used our in-house team of highly skilled craftsmen to create our unique camper van conversion.

“We can’t wait to unveil it at the show and look forward to putting it into full production next year.”

With an improving network of charging points around the UK, the company believes the time is right for an all-electric camper van.

Its model has a 106-mile range and a top speed of 76mph.

Read more: Derby Telegraph, Hillside Leisure Blog