Nissan’s latest zero emissions project is a hard act to top or lick for that matter.

To celebrate Clean Air Day in the UK the company created an icecream van that runs on electricity alone, with some recycled batteries to keep the icecream from melting.

Nissan partnered with Mackie’s of Scotland for the project, an icecream maker that powers its family-owned dairy farm with renewable energy from wind and the sun.

Most icecream vans, particularly older models, have diesel engines which have to be kept running to operate the refrigeration equipment.

The problem is they continue to produce harmful emissions, including black carbon, when they’re left idling.

Not so with Nissan’s cool newcomer based on the e-NV200, Nissan’s 100 per cent electric LCV (light commercial vehicle), with a range of 200km between charges.

The concept is a working demonstration of Nissan’s Electric Ecosystem, combining a zero-emission drivetrain, second-life battery storage and renewable solar energy generation.

While the van’s motor is driven by a 40kWh battery, the on-board icecream equipment, including a soft-serve machine, freezer drawer and drinks fridge, are powered by the newly unveiled Nissan Energy ROAM, which goes on sale later in 2019.

Designed for both professional and leisure applications, ROAM is a portable power pack that uses lithium-ion cells recovered from early first-generation Nissan electric vehicles — those produced from 2010 onwards.

This provides a sustainable second-life for Nissan EV batteries.

The concept takes a number of new approaches to the icecream van.

icecream is served from a hatch that opens in the side of the vehicle, with the vendor dispensing icecream standing next to the van – a customer-facing experience instead of being separated by an elevated counter.

Payment can be by cash, but also contactless bank card and smartphones via a ‘tap-to-pay’ panel mounted on the side of the van.

Instead of a jingle to attract customers – not always popular with parents – the concept has a smart button that generates a tweet of the van’s precise location using the global addressing service What3Words.

What3Words divides the world into 3m x 3m locations, each with a unique three word address, e.g. ///trendy.angel.define is a spot on Brighton & Hove’s seafront in the UK.

Customers can easily find the van in a park or seafront location where normal street addressing would not apply.

Thanks to the e-NV200’s bi-directional charging capability, owners could even income through the winter – when the van is less frequently used.

Through a V2G (Vehicle-to-Grid) charger, the e-NV200’s battery can be used to store surplus energy from the national grid (for example renewable wind and solar energy), and then provide it back to the grid when needed.

This technology can help balance out the peaks in national energy demands, as well as providing EV owners with additional revenue from their vehicle when it’s not being driven.

“We’re delighted to have worked with Nissan on this project as it’s the perfect complement to our own vision of becoming self-sustainable in renewable energy – and eliminating carbon in the journey from ‘Sky to Scoop’,” Mackie’s marketing director. Karin Hayhow, said.

“At Mackie’s we’ve already shifted our dependence from fossil-fuels on to clean renewable power. We now export 4.5 times more energy to the national grid than we consume.

“This year we will make further progress towards our vision with the installation of an innovative new low-carbon refrigeration system. We’re proud to be a ‘climate positive’ icecream maker.”

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Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.