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Get a hands-on look at Nissan's electric utility vehicle.: Car Tech Video

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Car Tech Video: Get a hands-on look at Nissan's electric utility vehicle.

1:44 /

The Nissan ENV200 Concept is a high-tech utility vehicle that is powered by an electric motor that impresses CNET's Wayne Cunningham at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show.

The Nissan leaf has been out for just over a year and now Nissan is trying out its electric drive system in another car. This is the eNV200. This little electric utility band is based on Nissan's NV200 commercial vehicle. Now, it's got the exact same drive train as the Nissan Leaf. That means, an 80 kilowatt electric motor and the 24-kilowatt hour lithium-ion battery pack drive in the front wheels. And it also has the charge for the front just like the Leaf. Now, the eNV200 has a lot of utility. It's got these large doors in front which allow easy access and slide indoors on the side. It's also got a large cargo area and of course, these middle row seats fold down or you can take them out entirely to maximize the cargo space. Now, as the eNV200 is a concept vehicle, Nissan has put a lot of high tech gear in the dashboard. We have this navigation system with stereo. It's a touch screen. We also have an LCD instrument cluster. That's stuff you probably wouldn't find in an actual commercial vehicle. But Nissan also says this could be a family vehicle like a small camper or something like that in which case, this stuff might make sense. And because it's a larger vehicle than the Nissan Leaf, it probably gets less range although Nissan hasn't said what the range is. Now, although Nissan has only called the eNV200 a concept, they're actually testing the car with a Japanese postal service. So could be something there looking to put in to production pretty soon. I am Wayne Cunningham reporting from Detroit.

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