It’s been a long time since we’ve had a true compact pickup, and the first one since might be an EV!by Robert Moore, on
A new rumor circulated the web says that Nissan is working on a new EV, but not just any EV – it’s reported a compact electric pickup truck. It’s not just the size and motivation that would make such a model unique, but the fact that it will have zero competition if it’s launched soon enough. Sounds crazy, right? Well it is, but maybe crazy is exactly what the industry needs right now, and it won’t be the first time Nissan created its own segment based on the compact pickup truck.
Where Did All the Compact Pickups Go?
The U.S. market has, quite literally been void of a compact pickup truck for the better part of the last decade. The Nissan Frontier shifted into midsize territory in 2005, as did the Toyota Tacoma. I can see you thinking “What about the Ford Ranger, Honda Ridgeline, Jeep Gladiator, or the new Hyundai Santa Cruz?” All of these models, with exception of the Santa Cruz are billed as midsize trucks too, which means they all compete with each other. The Hyundai Santa Cruz is considered compact, but it’s also considered a “crossover pickup truck,” so we’re still on the fence about whether or not it’s possible to look past the novelty of what it is.
Nissan’s Compact Pickup – Making an Electrified Comeback
With the Frontier being larger and electrification stirring up the industry so much, the prospect of a compact electric pickup truck from Nissan actually sounds promising. All other electric trucks, from the Tesla Cybertruck to the Hummer EV, Silverado EV, Ford F-150 Lightning, and the Rivian R1T are all much larger, which means from an electrification standpoint a compact Nissan pickup would stand uncontested in its own little segment. However, it’s not just as cut and dry as this, because there’s no confirmation that the truck is actually happening, but it hasn’t been denied, either.
This rumor, as we’re calling it, originated via Automotive News, which had the pleasure of asking Nissan’s VP of Sales and Regional Operations in the U.S., Judy Wheeler, what it’s all about. Now, Wheeler didn’t exactly confirm that an electric compact pickup truck was happening, but she didn’t deny it, either.
"There are 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."
That’s not definitive by any means, but it certainly doesn’t rule anything out. And, on top of this, Nissan’s heritage would certainly back up such a model. After all, the Frontier was a compact model from 1997-2005, and it replaced the Nissan D21, aka the Nissan Hardbody. And, let’s not forget that Nissan (then known as Datsun, of course) essentially created the compact pickup market way back in the 1950s with the launch of the 220 Chassis compact pickup. That’s right, folks. Nissan could, in fact, be repeating its own history, this time around by introducing the first electric compact pickup truck. How cool is that?
Source: Automotive News