Concept Cars

Nissan's zero-emissions ice cream truck gets rid of the ICE

Its dedication to eco-friendliness goes beyond the lack of an internal combustion engine.

Shrug off the effects of climate change with a nice ice cream cone, served by a vehicle that's doing its part to mitigate future effects of climate change.

Nissan

According to Nissan, there are some monsters out there who have a problem with ice cream trucks -- not the idea of an ice cream truck or the thought of children sprinting out into the street, but the overall ecological footprint of such an endeavor. Thankfully, Nissan engineered a way around that, and it's green from "sky to scoop," as the automaker puts it.

Nissan on Thursday unveiled its vision for a zero-emissions ice cream truck. And it's not just the truck that is better for the environment -- it's the entire process in and around the idea of serving ice cream from a vehicle.

The vehicle itself is a modified version of Nissan's e-NV200 small van, which replaces the internal combustion engine (ICE) with a battery-electric powertrain. According to the automaker, some ice cream trucks get a bad rap because they have diesel engines that must remaining running to power the refrigeration system, which can lead to a whole bunch of gnarly emissions.

But the e-NV200 doesn't actually use the EV battery for keeping that ice cream cold. Instead, it uses Nissan's Energy Roam system, which uses recycled Nissan EV batteries as a portable power pack that can deliver energy where it's needed. Hell, even the ice cream itself is zero-emissions (minus, you know, the cow flatulence), because the creamery that makes the product -- Mackie's of Scotland -- powers its farm with wind and solar energy.

Even the experience of serving the ice cream is delightfully different. There's no room to hang out in the back of the van, so the driver stands outside and serves ice cream directly to customers in a more personal manner. There's a contactless payment terminal right on the side of the van. Instead of rolling around playing tunes, the van generates a What3Words code for its location, narrowing down its parking spot to a 3-meter-by-3-meter square. That way, kids don't hear the music and immediately start shaking parents down for spare change, and there's no worry about missing it.

It's just a concept, of course, so don't expect this ice cream truck to show up in your neighborhood this summer. But nevertheless, it's yet another unique approach to figuring out how zero-emissions tech can green up the auto industry beyond regular ol' passenger cars.

Now playing: Watch this: Nissan Leaf long-term wrap-up: One year of electric feels
4:38