LONDON, UK, April 10, 2017 (ENS) - It's only one vehicle, but this electric Nissan e-NV200 delivery van is connecting the past and future in the history of the iconic 183-year-old London department store Harrods.
In 1834, Harrods opened as a wholesale grocer and tea merchant in east London. The store is now known throughout the world for its wide range of luxury merchandise.
Over 100 years after Harrods first added an electric delivery van to its fleet, the store is returning to EV technology, with the addition of its new electric Nissan e-NV200 delivery van.
In 1919, the store used solid-tired American Walker electric vans, and later built its own fleet of 60 electric vehicles to deliver goods to London customers. As petrol engines became more popular, the electric vans were phased out, but Harrods still has kept a few of the old electric American Walkers in good working order.
Now, with the development of new EV infrastructure and technology, Nissan has enabled Harrods to again have an electric van in its fleet.
"It's wonderful to see an electric Harrods van on the roads of London again," said Guy Cheston, media sales director at Harrods. "As one of Britain's largest established department stores, we are committed to reducing our carbon emissions and mitigating our environmental footprint."
"As part of our carbon and energy management policy, we have identified transportation as a key area where we can make a real impact," said Cheston. "We have a strong heritage in developing innovative technology, both in-store and out, and Harrods was one of the first companies in the UK to develop an all-electric commercial fleet, introducing our first electric vehicle over 100 years ago."
"Electric technology has developed rapidly since our old fleet was in operation, and is now a far more sustainable transport solution," Cheston said. "Nissan is the leader in EV technology and the e-NV200 was the obvious choice for us, allowing us to easily complete daily deliveries more sustainably and efficiently."
The Nissan e-NV200 has been adapted to fit Harrods' delivery needs. The load space of the van has been fully refrigerated and shelving units added to allow for fresh groceries to be transported in optimum condition.
The exterior has also been painted in the traditional green and gold Harrods livery to make it recognizable as it travels around the city.
The e-NV200 has a range of up to 170 km on a single charge, so it is easily capable of making up to 50 deliveries per week covering an average distance of 241 km in the London area. Harrods needs to charge it just once a week.
With an average running cost of as little as €0.03 per km, the e-NV200 offers a practical solution which will have a positive effect on the air quality of London's city center.
"Businesses across Europe are taking major steps to reduce their impact on the environment, and it's great to see such an iconic British department store embracing zero emission technology and putting the e-NV200 on their fleet," said Gareth Dunsmore, director of Electric Vehicles for Nissan Europe.
"Through Nissan Intelligent Mobility, we are working towards a sustainable future and we believe that zero emission vehicles, such as the e-NV200 are vital to tackling air pollution – an issue affecting many cities across Europe," said Dunsmore.
"The Nissan e-NV200 is designed for forward-thinking businesses, and I am delighted that Harrods has put its trust in us to help them switch to more sustainable transport solutions," Dunsmore said. "Harrods is demonstrating to other European retailers how EVs can help to reduce the carbon footprint of their business while providing the practicality and versatility needed to deliver goods to customers across London."
Harrods joins more than 900 companies worldwide that have purchased all-electric Nissans to help them manage their carbon footprint.
PHOTO: Harrods' new electric Nissan e-NV200 delivery van, right, and an American Walker electric van from the early 20th century parked in front of Harrods department store in London, March 2017. (Photo courtesy Nissan Motor Co.)