Five years ago at the Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan unveiled its clever NV200 minivan concept that incorporated a mobile office and a slide-out cargo compartment. It has since gone into production, losing the office and slide-out, but boasting what Nissan claims is the largest load space in its class. Last year, the automaker announced that it would begin testing of an electric version of the van. Now, the public can get a feel for what a consumer electric NV200 might be like, up close and in person, as the e-NV200 concept makes its world debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

According to Nissan, the e-NV200 "previews a near-future production version of a full electric vehicle." It should have a driving range similar to that of the Nissan Leaf (100 miles/160 km per charge), with the same cargo capacity as the current cumbustion-engined NV200. Another thing that it shares with the Leaf is its major drivetrain components, along with a prominent hood-located charging port door, and various other design details.

The front wheel-drive van's 80-kW AC synchronous motor generates 280 Nm (206.5 ft lbs) of torque, and is powered by a 24-kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

Inside, the dash features a tablet-like touchscreen instrument panel, featuring "advanced telematics" and special charging meters.

There is no word at this point on when we might see the e-NV200 - or one of its descendants - on a Nissan showroom floor. In the meantime, North American and Indian readers can await the upcoming release of the existing petrol NV200 in their countries.