An electric pickup from Nissan and Mitsubishi? Automakers team up to take on US market

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Japanese automakers Nissan and Mitsubishi are joining forces to catch up as the US market transitions to EVs. Nissan and Mitsubishi will jointly develop an electric pickup for the US market. Is this the all-electric Frontier we’ve been waiting for?

Nissan and Mitsubishi electric pickup destined for the US

Shortly after confirming a new EV partnership with rival Honda, Nissan announced another collaboration with Japan’s Mitsubishi.

The automakers are teaming up after falling behind as the market shifts to electric beneath its feet. Nissan, once seen as an EV leader, with the launch of the LEAF in 2010, took over a decade to release its second global EV, the Ariya.

Now, it looks to make up for lost time. Nissan’s CEO, Makoto Uchida, revealed the automaker’s collaboration plans to take on the US market this week.

According to Automotive News, Nissan will launch its first plug-in hybrid in the US using a Mitsubishi-engineered system. On the other hand, Mitsubishi will launch its first North American-made EV using Nissan’s electric tech.

Nissan and Mitsubishi have bigger plans. They plan to jointly develop an electric pickup for the US market, which will be produced in Mexico. Fully electric and PHEV versions are being considered.

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Nissan “Surf-Out” EV pickup concept (Source: Nissan)

The model will likely arrive in the US as an electric version of Nissan’s best-selling pickup, the Frontier. It could also expand Mitsubishi’s lineup with the midsize EV pickup buyers and dealers are asking for.

Nissan and Mitsubishi have been intertwined since 2016. Following an emissions cheating scandal, Former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn took a 34% stake in Mitsubishi.

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Nissan “Surf Out” electric pickup concept (Source: Nissan)

The two have collaborated on minicars in Japan, but North America is a priority as they look to revamp sales.

Nissan’s Chief Planning Officer Ivan Espinosa said the electric pickup is expected to roll out between March 31, 2027, and March 31, 3031.

Electrek’s Take

Is this the electric Frontier we’ve been waiting for? Nissan sold over 76,000 Frontiers in the US last year, up 26% from 2021.

The automaker revealed its new “Arc” business plan this week, which aims to drive down costs and compete with Chinese EV makers and Tesla.

Makota said Nissan “Cannot continue old ways of business from the past into the future” in January. The second part of its two-part plan includes enabling the EV transition with partnerships and differentiated products.

From 2024 to 2030, Nissan will launch 34 electrified vehicles, covering all segments. This includes pickups. Nissan expects electrified vehicles to account for 40% of global sales by 2026 and 60% by 2030.

In the US, Nissan is investing $200 million with plans to refresh 78% of its lineup. The automaker said this includes launching e-POWER and plug-in hybrids.

Meanwhile, the electric truck market is already gaining competition, with the Tesla Cybertruck and Chevy Silverado EV joining Ford’s F-150 Lightning and the Rivian R1T.

By 2027 (or even 3031), an electric Nissan/ Mitsubishi pickup will already be (way) behind the market. Meanwhile, Ford announced it’s cutting its workforce at the facility where the F-150 Lightning is built by one-third. The changes go into effect April 1, 2024.

Would you buy an electric Nissan (or Mitsubishi) pickup over the Tesla, Chevy, Ford, or Rivian models already out? Let us know what it would take in the comments.

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