Automakers are starting to see the potential of the electric vehicle market, with more brands looking into building electrified versions of their existing models. The latest to venture into the segment is Nissan, which just announced its plans to convert the Titan pickup into an EV.
The automaker is reportedly in talks with Detroit-based startup Hercules Electric Vehicles in developing electric vehicles and trading parts with each another. Hercules benefits from the partnership by getting the rights to Nissan’s Titan platform for its own pickup truck, while Nissan gets access to the startup’s electric powertrain technology.
Strictly speaking, the project has not been finalized and there is still a chance for it not to push through. But if everything goes according to plan, Nissan can benefit greatly, especially if it wants to make an impact in a market that is fast becoming saturated with big players.
Aside from Nissan, several manufacturers in the United States are dipping their fingers in the electric vehicle segment. GMC has just rolled out its highly anticipated Hummer EV pickup that promises to deliver 1,000 horsepower on a four-motor drive system. Rivian, another startup that has been gaining attention in the past year, is also well on its way to release the brand’s R1T truck, while new powerhouse Tesla gears up for the launch of the Cybertruck.
Joint explorations between relatively new companies and established automakers are also becoming a trend. In fact, Ford had previously announced a $500 million investment in Rivian.
If talks between Nissan and Hercules materialize, the two companies could be looking at producing an eco-friendly truck that could help improve the sales of the Titan.
At present, the regular Nissan Titan pickup is powered by a 5.6-liter naturally aspirated Endurance V8 engine that produces 400 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque. The engine is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission and yields an average of 16/22/18 mpg.
With an electric powertrain, Nissan could significantly improve these numbers and make the Titan more competitive in the market. As for Hercules, a partnership with Nissan could lead to the production of the Hercules Alpha beginning in 2022.