Nissan has started production of the e-NV200, its second electric vehicle (EV) and first electric van, in its new plant in Barcelona, Spain.

The company said in a press release that the van uses the same powertrain as the LEAF hatchback and will be available as a passenger vehicle, a light commercial van and a taxi.

Barcelona will be the first city to use the e-NV200 taxi. Meanwhile, exports will begin starting June 2014 to around 20 international markets, including Japan.

“This is a great landmark day for Nissan, starting production of our second electric vehicle.  This is at a time when EV’s are now recognized as mainstream technology, many competitors are only just starting to launch their first EV and where Nissan has clear first mover advantage,” said Andy Palmer, chief planning officer of Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.

The Nissan e-NV200 electric vehicle rolls off the plant in Barcelona

The €100 million (about PhP 6.16 billion) Barcelona plant is part of Nissan’s €431 million (around PhP 26.55 billion) total investment in Spanish operations. The factory’s opening was attended by several Spanish politicians and Nissan executives.

“[The plant] is part of a strategy in Barcelona and its metropolitan area in order to consolidate Barcelona as the center of a new urban economy model, based on innovation, technology and sustainability. In our city, we are strategically targeting sectors that are essential for the future, and electric vehicles are one of them. Furthermore, we are working to generate wealth in our city, strengthening our economy and the industrial sector; thus making a very important step ahead that will improve the quality of life for residents,” said Barcelona mayor Xavier Trias.