Nissan is considering a compact electric pickup truck, according to a recent Automotive News report. While such a vehicle seems far from reality, it would give Nissan something different for the emerging electric-truck market.
The automaker is merely studying the idea of a compact pickup, according to the report, which cited anonymous sources familiar with the matter. Nissan hasn't made firm plans to move forward with the project, or to make it electric if it did.
If it arrives soon enough, a compact Nissan electric truck could be an answer to the 40-mpg Ford Maverick—which Ford recently said would be in tight supply for months. The Maverick has been hailed as the return of the compact trucks pioneered by Nissan (as Datsun) and other Japanese automakers in the 1970s, but which disappeared from the United States over a decade ago.
In recent years, pickup trucks have tended to follow the "bigger is better" mantra, with full-size models accounting for the majority of sales. That's also the case with proposed electric pickup trucks, with most models announced so far being rather large.
2021 Nissan Titan
The startup Canoo is one of the only other companies to suggest a somewhat smaller electric pickup, with an unorthodox design and skateboard chassis shared with Canoo's planned passenger and cargo vans.
While it helped start the era of modern electric cars with the Leaf, Nissan hasn't embraced the electric-pickup trend. The automaker's next EV will be the Ariya crossover, with other crossover models likely following.
Nissan was reportedly in talks with the Detroit EV startup Hercules, which has shown an Alpha prototype that's effectively a reskinned Nissan Titan. Hercules recently said that Pininfarina will help design a production version of the truck, perhaps aiming to cloth the Titan platform in more-distinctive styling.