Nissan’s ice cream van has 99 problems but harmful emissions ain’t one


Most ice cream vans, particularly older models, have diesel engines which are kept running to operate the refrigeration equipment. These motors are criticised for producing harmful emissions, including black carbon, when left idling.

However, there is now a cool solution to this, as Nissan has whipped up this all-electric, zero-emission concept ice cream van with the help of ice cream maker, Mackie’s of Scotland.

The prototype van is based on the e-NV200, Nissan’s 100 per cent electric LCV. 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.

Whilst the van’s motor is driven by a 40kWh battery, the on-board ice cream equipment, including a soft-serve machine, freezer drawer and drinks fridge, are powered by the newly unveiled Nissan Energy ROAM.

The concept takes a number of new approaches to the ice cream van. Ice cream is served from a hatch that opens in the side of the vehicle, with the vendor dispensing ice cream standing next to the van – a customer-facing experience instead of being separated by an elevated counter. It even accepts contactless payments.

Nissan has even flaked the distinctive ice cream van jingle to attract customers and replaced it with a “smart button that generates a tweet of the van’s precise location using the global addressing service What3Words”.

No word on whether or not we’ll be seeing Nissan’s ice cream van serving the Irish public any time soon, but it’s certainly another positive step forward in reducing CO2 emissions.