Nissan once led the way with mass-market EVs, debuting the Leaf all the back in 2010. (Fun fact: Elon Musk wasn’t even a billionaire back then.) But the manufacturer has largely conceded that advantage since; Nissan is only just getting its Ariya crossover to market in 2023. However, a new vehicle may be coming that could help Nissan regain its initiative.
Last February, Nissan announced a $500 million investment in its Canton, Mississippi plant. The brand said the plant would produce two all-new, all-electric vehicles. Automotive News is reporting that Nissan is “exploring” a midsize electric pickup, which could amount to a replacement for the Titan, which Nissan may not keep around much longer.
Tyler Slade, chairman of the Nissan advisory board, noted to Automotive News that “the Frontier Hardbody has been part of Nissan’s brand for decades. It’s logical to bring an electric version.”
What would a Nissan electric truck look like? They may already have a blueprint. As CarBuzz notes, Nissan and its Chinese partner Dongfeng debuted the Rich 6 EV electric pickup in 2019. That electric pickup was built on the old Frontier platform, which is not far from the new platform. Some knowledge may carry over, but we suspect an American market truck would launch with a battery pack larger than that truck’s 68-kWh unit and more than its 160 horsepower.
Nissan could have a massive hit on its hands if it can get a Frontier-sized electric pickup to market. EV trucks have been popular. But have largely been both large and expensive. GM is reportedly looking at a smaller electric pickup, but it would be substantially smaller than a midsize truck. Toyota unveiled a Tacoma-sized Pickup EV concept, but there have been no further announcements yet. And Ford may not have a Ranger counterpart to the F-150 Lightning on the road until late this decade.