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HomeFordRight here’s how Nissan may electrify vans and SUVs for the US

Right here’s how Nissan may electrify vans and SUVs for the US

Not each automaker’s taking the identical technique with regards to electrification.

Throughout an interview on the 2024 New York auto present Nissan North America’s Senior Vice President and Chief Planning Officer, Ponz Pandikuthira laid out for Inexperienced Automobile Reviews the automaker’s viewpoint on the place EVs, PHEVs, and sequence hybrids take advantage of sense.

The chat with Pandikuthira passed off days after Nissan laid out its plans for hybrids, PHEVs, and a U.S.-bound three-row electrical SUV, resulting in a clearer imaginative and prescient about which powertrains will present up during which sorts of autos within the close to time period.

Nissan Surf-Out concept (2021)

Nissan Surf-Out idea (2021)

Collection hybrids

A bit of Nissan’s electrification technique lies inside its e-Energy powertrains, which is the automaker’s advertising and marketing converse for a sequence hybrid. A small combustion engine creates vitality to energy the electrical motor as soon as the battery reaches a selected state of cost. That ICE engine acts as a generator solely, and there’s no direct mechanical connection between the ICE engine and the wheels. With the ability to skip the transmission and all that complexity makes it notably engaging to automakers from a value standpoint.

Pandikuthira didn’t utterly rule out e-Energy for a pickup truck, however he mentioned that in a smaller physique type pickup, like a Ford Maverick-sized pickup, the sequence hybrid powertrain may make sense. It could be extra of a way of life truck geared toward metropolis dwellers and or surfers, just like the Nissan Surf-Out idea proven in 2021. 

“e-Energy is absolutely suited to a automobile like Kicks and Rogue,” Pandikuthira mentioned. A automobile that may spend most of its time in city environments together with stop-and-go visitors with possibly solely 30% of the time being freeway driving. 

The chief additionally famous {that a} sequence hybrid isn’t one of the best throughout freeway utilization or at a gradual state of 70 or 75 mph. That generator would return poor gas economic system and it wouldn’t be a great towing expertise, and he famous that for mid-size and full-size vans, the typical pickup driver does a variety of that. 

This instantly goes in opposition to the technique Stellantis took with the 2025 Ram 1500 Ramcharger. Whereas it has a 92-kwh battery pack that may be charged up, when it’s depleted the Ram Charger’s generator is a naturally-aspirated 3.6-liter V-6, which altogether may return about 20 mpg on the freeway. That’s not whereas towing.

2024 Nissan Frontier Forsberg Edition

2024 Nissan Frontier Forsberg Version

Hybrids and plug-in hybrids

Pandikuthira famous that giant autos, and people spending 70% of their time on the freeway could be higher off with a plug-in hybrid powertrain. 

“The Nissan Frontier (the automaker’s mid-size pickup truck) buyer doesn’t need an EV. What they do need is a plug-in hybrid,” Pandikuthira mentioned. The chief famous the second you do a plug-in hybrid powertrain towing isn’t compromised. A plug-in hybrid additionally isn’t as susceptive to the intense warmth and chilly challenges BEVs at present expertise with in the present day’s battery know-how.

Plug-in hybrids want a minimal of 70 miles of real-world vary, based on Pandikuthira. Extra energy-dense next-generation batteries may assist allow that.

On Monday information broke that the next-gen Frontier will get an electrical variant and plug-in hybrid whereas being twinned with a Mitsubishi. Each shall be inbuilt Mexico. 

Pandikuthira instructed GCR that the present Frontier wouldn’t simply settle for batteries when it comes to packaging for a plug-in or battery-electric powertrain. A next-gen truck could be the chance because it could possibly be designed from day one to not compromise packaging.

2024 Nissan Pathfinder

2024 Nissan Pathfinder


Pandikuthira famous {that a} way of life pickup must price $25,000 to $35,000, possibly topping out at $40,000. 

‘Electrifying one thing in that vary and making the associated fee down reasonably priced might be not less than a number of years away,” Pandikuthira mentioned, referring to both a completely electrical or e-Energy chance.. 

It makes extra sense to make a battery-electric Pathfinder-sized automobile, which is a three-row crossover SUV, at this level, based on Pandikuthira. The chief quipped {that a} bigger pickup and or Pathfinder-sized automobile may maintain the mandatory worth to suit an electrical powertrain. That worth level is as much as $55,000 or $60,000, Pandikuthira mentioned. All of it comes right down to deciding which physique type to impress first based mostly on buyer want, based on the manager. 

“Electrification continues to be going to manifest, it’s just a bit slower than we thought,” Pandikuthira mentioned.



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