The Nissan Titan is on the chopping block, but the success of the Frontier, and customers’ desires, mean a new small electric truck could be on the horizon.
Two trucks are all that Nissan offers, but that’s that same number as Toyota. Why then do we love the Tundra and Tacoma but loathe the Titan and feel kind of meh about the Frontier? In reality, the full-size Toyota and Nissan trucks have struggled, but not as much for Toyota as Nissan. Could Nissan find its niche in the small electric truck world?
Concepts have been shown
The idea of a Nissan truck powered by electricity and made for adventurous souls is enticing. This is certainly even more the case if that truck is small and easy to maneuver. Last year, we saw a Surf-Out concept model of a Nissan EV truck that could potentially be exactly what we want. This might be the ideal way for Nissan to gain a stronger foothold in the small truck market, but nothing has been confirmed yet. That said, Nissan has confirmed plans for 15 new EV models by 2030 and one of them could easily be a pickup truck.
Should Nissan give up on the Titan?
Some at Nissan feel that giving up on the full-size pickup truck market is a mistake. The low sales volume of the Titan should be enough to tell the entire brand that continuing onward is a mistake, but some Frontier owners might want a larger version of their truck when more capability is necessary. Is this possibility a good enough reason to keep the Titan around? Probably not, the Titan has been a low-volume truck for the past few years, despite upgrades and improvements.
Will a new electric Nissan truck be the same size as the Frontier?
Building an electrified version of the Frontier might not make a lot of sense. Instead of adding a new style of power to the lineup, a more sensible way to create demand for Nissan trucks would be to add a new truck with a new name. The newness of an electric Frontier might not be enough. Could that mean a new Nissan small electric truck? Maybe this new pickup could be a model that enters the same class that’s reemerged with the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz.
The compact truck market is wide open
Midsize trucks are now nearly as large as older full-size pickups which could make them too big for some truck owners. The proof of this is in the impressive sales figures for the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz. While these two trucks are new and could easily be only sold at high numbers because they just hit the market, if sales continue to grow for both models then we have proof of concept that a third truck class was necessary. This could be the perfect place for a new Nissan small electric truck to emerge.
Will more small trucks go electric
Some truck owners want a truck for the few times a year when they need to haul or carry gear. These truck owners also enjoy the benefits of AWD and greater truck capability but want a small model for daily driving to keep fuel costs down. This is where electric pickups could thrive. We don’t expect small trucks to tow as much as their full-size counterparts, which might make this the sweet spot of the truck world for EV pickups. We already know the Ford F-150 Lightning struggles with towing, but what if we had an electrified Ford Maverick instead.
Without the Titan, should Nissan continue to sell trucks?
The Titan has never been the cornerstone of the Nissan pickup world; the Frontier has been. Without the Titan, the Frontier can survive and even thrive. Adding a small truck to the mix won’t change that fact at all. In fact, if Nissan can offer a small electric truck to help move things forward, they could be the first brand to the market with such a pickup. Maybe the Surf-Out concept could become a production-ready truck that has everything we want in our future models.
Will Nissan make this new small electric truck? Is this planned for one of the 15 new EV models coming to the market? We don’t know for sure, but the signs are there and it could be exciting to see what happens if Nissan is the first to market with a compact EV truck.
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