Nissanhas already built electric trucks: the EV4 prototypes and the Rich EV 6. However, a production-ready model for the American market remains mere speculation.
There’s no word yet on whether the rumors are true, but it just goes to show you how buyers are excited to take an EV onto more rugged terrain.
Does Nissan have an all-electric truck?
Nissan created two all-electric EV4 prototypes and the Rich 6 pickup EV—neither of which can be bought in America. The company has yet to announce an electric pickup for Western markets.
The most recent model, the Rich 6 EV, was produced in partnership with the Dongfeng Motor Company. Although each and every truck is built at Nissan’s Zhenzhou factory, it carries a Dongfeng badge.
This isn’t the first time a big auto manufacturer has made an experimental foray into markets overseas. Released in response to China’s aggressive zero-emissions strategy, it’s unlikely this particular truck will ever carry the Nissan name.
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What we know about the 2020 Dongfeng Rich 6 EV
Launched for the 2020 model year, the Dongfeng Rich 6 EV carried a price tag of 299,800 ¥ (about $43,567 USD). In China, blue is the new green, and the Rich 6 carries blue accents through its grill and light wells. A central display, rear-mounted parking camera, and leather seating share the small interior.
If you ever get a chance to look under the hood, you’ll find:
- Motor: 120kW permanent magnet synchronous drive motor
- Battery: 385-volt, 68kWh lithium-ion pack
- Driving range: 250 miles
- Charging time: 45 minutes to 80%
- Maximum power: 163 horsepower
- Maximum torque: 310 pound-feet (no mention of rpm)
- Maximum speed: 68 mph
- Ground clearance: 7.0 inches
- Seating capacity: 5
The truck’s small stature, interior design, and lack of infotainment point to another reason the Rich EV 6 won’t ship overseas: it runs counter to American tastes. Should they produce a pickup EV, Nissan is likely to design it from the ground up with a Western market in mind.
Nissan’s electric future
Building an electric pickup truck poses many difficult problems. The batteries are extremely heavy, but the truck needs to be able to haul and tow thousands of pounds of cargo—plus, electric motors aren’t as powerful as their gasoline counterparts, which is bad news for off-roading. Finally, a large range is necessary to reach remote work sites.
Believe it or not, Nissan already answered many of these questions with the EV4 (Experimental Electric Vehicles) it created in 1971.
The two prototypes—the EV4-P and EV4-H—were both pickup trucks, housing batteries and motors inside fiberglass-reinforced, lightweight plastic bodies. The P could cover 188 miles, while the H could reach a maximum range of 308 (though probably not with a maximum payload of 2,200 lbs.). Not bad, right?
Nissan clearly has the research, innovation, and technical know-how to create a rugged EV. As the
futuristic “Surf-Out” conceptdemonstrates, they also have some interesting design ideas, and company management is clearly onboard, bent on adding
20 new EVs over the next five years! For reasons unknown, Nissan has yet to take the plunge on an electric pickup truck.
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