Nissan Reveals Frontier Sentinel Truck That Packs LEAF Batteries

NOV 7 2018 BY STEVEN LOVEDAY 29

Nissan just turned the tables on EV announcements and revealed a semi-electrified pickup truck!

Well … sort of. It is for sure electrified, and also has LEAF batteries, but it’s not truly electric in the most positive sense. However, it’s a drastic step in the right direction!

The Nissan Frontier compact pickup truck seen here is an electric variant (at least in some sense of the definition) using two LEAF battery packs. The concept was just revealed at the 2018 São Paulo Motor Show. Nissan specifically designed this new concept to help with rescue missions and deal with the challenging Brazilian outback terrain.

The all-new Nissan Frontier Sentinel will utilize two Nissan LEAF battery packs within its cargo bed area. The bed has extra space for multiple storage drawers and additional equipment. However, those LEAF batteries do not propel the truck. Rather, they provide electricity in emergency/rescue situations. Sadly, this is still a gas-burning Frontier.

The truck bed features a heavy-duty roll bar. The pickup truck also employs a unique platform, which is designed to accommodate a drone landing atop the truck’s cabin. Moreover, the new sort of electrified Sentinel has a special lighting system and a snorkel for those that may plan to take it across deep water.

The truck concept features black leather with bright yellow accents and seems to be reasonably comfortable and upscale, despite the fact that it’s designed as a rescue fleet vehicle.

It’s becoming abundantly clear that automotive companies will be competing hardcore in terms of utility vehicles in the very near future. This includes pickup trucks and larger SUVs. Let’s hope that soon the batteries found in a truck like this actually power the vehicle, rather than just provide juice for emergency situations.

13 photos

Source: Nissan Brazil via Green Car Congress

Categories: Nissan

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29 Comments on "Nissan Reveals Frontier Sentinel Truck That Packs LEAF Batteries"

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Chris5168

Don’t leave it in the sun.

Gibber

You got me so excited then…. I am SO ready for a BEV or proper PHEV truck, really hope there is a real option on the table in the next few years.

F150 Brian

I have a lot of friends that have trucks (and we use them as trucks too). We’ve been discussing what makes the most sense for the foreseeable future. Consensus in our group is that an electric truck with a range extender would be best for several key reasons:
1) Lack of high speed charging outside of cities/major routes – Tesla and Electrify Canada have plans to expand where we live but not so much on where we go
2) Lack of destination charging – many of the places we go have no grid. Some with no power at all. The ones with power are running a generator.
3) Cost of batteries – we looked at costs to up-size the range on models that offer the option. We’d need a huge battery (see points 1 and 2 above) and that could easily add the equivalent cost of an entire current pickup (~ $35k for an extra 100kWh over a PHEV).

Just give us enough range to do the daily grind in any weather condition (40-50kWh would be plenty), and do that with an electric platform that can perform all functions without needing to start the range extender.

CT

Most people never haul more that a rain drop in their trucks and don’t go to off the grid locations. I have a truck and use it for towing and hauling and I am never far away from charging. I would use my truck to drive longer distances if it was electric. I think having a truck in rural locations, farms, would be great because the nearest gas pump may be far away.
First electric to market will get my business.

F150 Brian

BEV for rural can work – most people have access to the grid at home. Would suck to make a special trip to town for gas before you drive down the road to your neighbour.

Farmers near us get tax free gas and have a tank/pump on the farm so they may be harder to convince to change. In fact many of them are on diesel for heavy use and they can share a pump with tractors.

A REX pickup will still have a plug, so if you’re close to chargers you can still make use of them and possibly avoid starting the ICE REX on many trips.

the dane

Current battery-tech is inferior when it comes to deliver the power/weight/capacity at a given $ needed for a truck. Even if you don’t haul anything, you still have to move the truck itself, requiring massive amounts of energy. It is not a rain drop shaped model 3 – it’s a parachute.

Leeper

This is exactly how my friends and I feel. With 20-30 kWh of batteries, most of us could get by with a v6 or turbo4. For the few times that peak HP are required, have the option to save battery. I can’t fathom why this hasn’t happened yet.
Even putting an electric motor in the rear instead of running a big driveshaft makes so much sense.

Robert Weekley

Leeper, See my Volt + Bolt idea, in reply to F150Brian, below!

It seems both GM & Ford have suffficient BEV + PHEV Drivetrains available today to build such a rig!

GM as described, above, more or less, with Matching Voltages might be a stretch, but workable! Ford has PHEV Cars, like the Fusion; plus the BEV Focus Drivetrains, that could be paired up, in a Ford Ranger type and size 4 Wheel Drive, EREV or PHEV Pickup, today!

Sounds like a challenge: send this one out to EV West, or EVTV.ME, for a go at it, as an after market EREV Truck Conversion Challenge!

the dane

It is probably all about the economics. Building a conventional gasser is easy, cheap and fast. Adding all the parts that’s required for EV propulsion is expensive. Maybe many think of it as just a motor and a battery, but it is the entire “package” that’s needed with controller, charger and so on. And for a truck the setup would be of capacity/dimension similar to say, model 3 to provide the range and output needed to move the vehicle. And the cost of powertrain, battery and other parts in a model 3 is what? $25000? Add that to the current price of your truck, and sales would be close to 0.
Not to mention that the entire package should be able to handle heavy duty abuse – something that no manufacturer has experience with.

Robert Weekley

F150Brian, what about this hack: a Volt EREV Drivetrain under the Hood, and. Bolt EV Drivetrain at the back, and about 40-50 kWh of the Bolt EV’s 60 kWh Battery, centered below, between the Frame Rails, and about an 8-10 Gallon Gas Tank (for the “E” in the EREV part?

It should give you 100-125+ Miles EV Range, plus about 200-250+ Miles more range on Gas, and if done up nice, field or back up Electric Power (120V/240V), too!

Magnus H

These kind of vehicles for rescue in remote areas wil be the last to switch to traction batteries. If ever!

@Brian_Henderson

So old news … Nissan has built a “Rescue Truck” based on just about every type of truck it makes.

Nothing electric about these one-off showpieces … it’s just a feel-good demonstrator.

Example:
Shown at the Hannover Auto show a couple years back.
https://youtu.be/zy0_VjR3_74

It’s probably a decade before Nissan showcases an all-electric drivetrain on a truck chassis.

the dane

It is a vehicle designed to move into areas with no electricity to provide power for emergency services like hospitals and water treatment. Would it be wise to build it as an EV with the need for a charger to just to move it?

BEVfan

This is sad!
I got excited when I read the title but the rest was so disappointing. We have seen conversions work really well and this could have been the same. Until carmakers will launch a pickup truck on an dedicated EV platform, a conversion would have been great and without competition.

jim stack

Work Horse looks like they will beat Nissan to the electric truck punch, then Tesla while Nissan still does concepts.

F150 Brian

Rivian is a better bet. We’ll see what they have in 3 weeks.

cr08

What confused me here is where the last two photos in the timeline are from? Of all the other sites covering this I have not found that dash or charging port picture for this truck. Specifically the dash picture confused me with the EV/hybrid related displays. Please provide a source for these if they did come from an outside article covering this truck.

Astros

Those are pretty clearly photos of the 40kWh Nissan Leaf.

menorman

Why not just go with the e-Note technology and a plug?

Nick Kotronias

Nissan should try to improve fuel economy numbers on their trucks I think the frontier can achieve better fuel economy and become more competitive than it has been Ford has made great strides to bring the F series truck line to a competitive market and especially the new ford ranger Chevy and dodge have also met those challenges but there is more work to be done to keep increasing numbers in an ever changing market I really think nissan should really consider new truck designs which include interior changes exterior design and function and especially better transmissions they ve done it on the new Altima they certainly can achieve it on their truck line

ModernMarvelFan

PHEV version would be really cool.

Dan

Anyone want to guess why Niaasn developed its e-Note range extender? It’s like an i3 REx, but doesn’t recharge/plug into the grid.

Robert Weekley

So, it’s like the 2004 or 2003 Prius, then?

Bob Nickson

Nissan should have called it the Releaf pickup.

And why no Nissan EZ? C’mon Carlos.

Brian F

Well that was a disappointing article after that headline…

Vexar

The design reminds me of the Ford Splash from the 80’s. It looked amazingly fun, but it was nothing beyond a rolling, non-automotive prototype and it turned into a paint job for the Ford Ranger. We know legacy car companies enough to realize that this is just market testing and it will never be built. Why would Nissan build such an out-of-the-way prototype for the Jungles of South America? Remember, whenever you smell manure on a dairy farm, the bull is not far off.

wavelet

I fail to see what this has to do with EVs, so very negative on the article.
The fact that it uses LEAF batteries is completely immaterial.

Daniel Watkins(me)

Dumb. A hybrid setup is perfect with it letting the engine generate a large amount of power for equipment.

Bill Howland

This article had no description of what the batteries run, or how they are recharged. Just checked GCR – apparently this is just a plain truck with some (hopefully) CHARGED BATTERIES that you also must bring one of their v2h boxes along with you to make AC for the house.

Reminds me of the first time that that Horrid Chevy Chevette went to a gas station, and the attendant said ‘OH! They’re making these Refillable now?” (hehe).
Except the Nissan battery isn’t refillable unless you have a handy BEV to swap the battery into.