Nissan and Mitsubishi struck a deal to develop several electrified vehicles specifically for the United States market in a bid to minimize development costs in a time when the growth of all-electric vehicles has slowed and major manufacturers are looking to plug-in hybrids as a stopgap until EVs regain momentum.

Currently, Mitsubishi doesn’t have any all-electric vehicles on sale in the U.S. and Nissan doesn’t have any plug-in hybrids. Moreover, neither companies offer a battery-powered pickup. But all of this is going to change in the coming years.

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Japanese automakers form alliances to cut EV development costs

Nissan is teaming up with Mitsubishi to try and lower the development costs of future plug-in hybrid and all-electric models. The deal between the two Japanese automakers will reportedly produce at least three models, including an all-electric Mitsubishi, a plug-in hybrid Nissan, and a battery-powered mid-size pickup truck co-developed specifically for the U.S. market. Previously, Nissan signed a memorandum of understanding with Honda to explore how they can work on EV-specific tech together.

According to Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida, quoted by Automotive News, this first-ever cross-company collaboration between the two marques for the U.S. market will yield at least three distinct vehicles. The news comes after the reported talks between Nissan and Fisker were put to rest and after Nissan announced it would work together with Honda to develop EV-specific tech.

Nissan will use tech from Mitsubishi, which makes the Outlander PHEV, to launch a plug-in hybrid and Mitsubishi will launch a new car in the U.S. using Nissan’s EV technology, possibly the same used in the Ariya crossover.

A timeline for these launches hasn’t been provided, but during Nissan’s latest presentation, the Japanese company said it will launch 30 new models by fiscal year 2026, 16 of which will be electrified. Hence, we expect the two new models from Nissan and Mitsubishi to hit the streets in the next two years.

An all-electric 1-ton pickup truck will also be co-developed by the two Nippon automakers and will probably result in two different models. Automotive News speculated that this new EV, which is bound to debut sometime between 2027 and 2031, will likely be a successor to the combustion-powered Nissan Frontier.

2022 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X

2022 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2024 Nissan Ariya

2024 Nissan Ariya

The battery-powered mid-size pickup will reportedly be manufactured in Mexico and sold in the United States and Latin America to circumvent import tariffs that are faced by models brought in from overseas. The source also writes that a plug-in hybrid version of the future pickup is also under consideration.

"In North America, we will receive a supply of vehicles from our alliance partners to a certain extent. We will receive what is necessary [for] our overall product lineup," Mitsubishi Vice President Hiroshi Nagaoka said back in February. "In the electrification shift, new cars will become necessary. So we are discussing with our partners."

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It’s unclear at this point if the EV, PHEV, and electric pickup will be badge engineering jobs or distinct models from Nissan and Mitsubishi. Using tech from an alliance partner is a quick and relatively inexpensive way for an automaker to reach its fleet emissions goals, but simply sticking another badge on an existing car has been known to dilute the name of the company in the customer’s eyes.

It’s too soon to tell how this partnership will stack up, so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens. In the meantime, you can hit the comments below to tell us what you think about this.

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