The US compact pickup truck segment has been revived lately by the Hyundai Santa Cruz and Ford Maverick launches, and more models are in the pipeline.
As it turns out, Nissan is also interested in joining them, but the Japanese automaker is reportedly planning to do it a bit differently. More specifically, Automotive News claims that Nissan wants to enter the segment with an all-electric truck. According to a “person familiar with the matter,” the future model will use an all-electric powertrain instead of a gasoline engine.
When contacted by the publication, Nissan's VP of sales and regional operations in the United States, Judy Wheeler, did not confirm the rumor but did not deny it either.
"There all kinds of things under discussion. I don't know that there is any serious discussion there at this point. I could see that coming. The pickup area is kind of interesting. There will be a consumer that's looking more for a lifestyle vehicle that they can put all their gear in and go off-roading."
Expected to fill the gap under the 2022 Frontier, the battery-powered compact truck is reportedly a part of Nissan’s strategy to electrify its future products. After all, the Japanese automaker has pledged that all new vehicles in its most important markets will go electric by early next decade.
Come to think about it, Nissan may be onto something with this one. While other legacy automakers are focusing on full-size electric pickups, the compact truck segment remains virgin territory for fully electric models.
Let’s not forget that Nissan has been building EVs for longer than many other carmakers, so it has a lot of experience servicing them. It should also be able to make customers understand the advantages of an electric truck quite easily.
We must also mention the carmaker’s extensive experience building small trucks, with Datsun introducing the first such model in the US in the late 1950s with the 220 chassis. Nissan appears to be well positioned to build a compact electric pickup, but we’ll take this with a grain of salt until official confirmation arrives.