Steering You Right with Sharon Peters: Plug-In Minivan

2014-01-08T08:00:00Z Steering You Right with Sharon Peters: Plug-In MinivanSharon L. Peters CTW Features
January 08, 2014 8:00 am  • 

Q: Some time ago I heard Nissan would be launching an all-electric minivan. We’ve had Nissans for years, and would like to go this way, but the last time I checked with the dealership they couldn’t say when the minivan would be coming.

A: Probably fairly soon is the best I can do. Certainly sometime in 2014.

The e-NV200, which looks more like a cargo van than a minivan (and in fact Nissan, on its “teaser site” says it’s a combination of both) is tall and snub-nosed, and the rear seats fold up completely so you’re left with an enormous amount of space for loading and hauling.

It’s generating a fair amount of attention, and Nissan is releasing little, probably to capitalize on the buzz.

A reader chimes in:

I heard from Larry, a regular reader/regular commenter, about my recent explanation of door labels and maximum hauling weights:

“Regarding your statement that door labels are important ‘so anyone planning to haul a massive amount of … anything really hefty who consults it to make calculations about how much can safely be crammed in, won’t overload the vehicle and risk tire failure or structure damage’ is technically correct. But the operative phrase is ‘who consults it:’ everybody I’ve ever seen load a vehicle just starts loading. I am not sure many people are even aware of the door label. I suspect the label is there to protect the manufacturers from lawsuits when the operator overloads the vehicle.”

Larry’s definitely right about people’s tendency to just do a thing – anything – without taking the trouble to learn about possible risks. But I’m glad that when it comes to potentially overloading a vehicle, the information is easy to find for those who bother (because if it were hard to find, even those few responsible people would likely be less inclined).

Why does this matter to me, and everyone else? Purely because every person who informs himself/herself about weight limits and uses the information properly is one less gory accident that puts the rest of us in jeopardy. Moreover, I’d like to think that those who read my column know now to consult the door label when they’re about to load up a cast iron bath tub filled with granite!

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