For decades, light trucks and vans have served as the backbone of Japan’s infrastructure. Rugged, ultra-compact commercial vehicles are as popular for making deliveries in crowded big cities as they are for hauling crops on rural farms. We believe it will be a great way to get more EVs on the road.
Honda’s N-Van is an already popular light van that boasts incredible packing efficiency. The asymmetrical design has a pillar-less structure on the passenger side, realizing a spacious cargo bed. The commercial version can only be fitted with one seat for the driver’s seat, while the rest of the interior can be folded completely flat. These features help maximize packing and cargo capacity, which is why Honda created the solo camper concept from his N van.
Since the N van debuted in 2018 and was designed as a gasoline vehicle, battery Packages are limited. Honda claims a range of 124 miles, which should be plenty for your daily commute in Japan. It may also be sufficient for one-day last-mile deliveries, where light vans are commonly used in urban areas.
The N-Van’s biggest selling point is its starting price of just ¥1 million, or just under $7,300 at the current dollar exchange rate. When normalized to the historical average, the price is closer to about $10,000. That’s an incredible entry price for a full-battery electric vehicle. By comparison, the most affordable EV in the US is the Chevrolet Volt, priced at his $25,600. Even with $6,000 federal credit, it’s still a $12,000 delta.
Honda deliberately priced the N-Van EV at the same price as petrol in hopes that consumers would opt for the emissions-free variant. His EV purchase rate among Japanese consumers is lower than average, just 1% last year, while in the US he was 2.5%. The percentage was 8.3%.
But public opinion may be changing. Just yesterday, Japan’s Car of the Year honors were awarded to the Nissan Sakura and Mitsubishi eK X EV.
Mitsubishi Motors is a pioneer of electric mini vehicles, starting with the i-MIEV launched in 2009. He also offers a commercial light van, the Minicab-MiEV, which has a range of just 133 miles than the Honda N-Van EV. It costs 2.2 million yen, or $16,000.
The Honda N-Van EV will go on sale in Japan in spring 2024.