Nissan Navara Might Go Hybrid

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Nissan is making a U-turn on its electrification strategy, with the new-generation Navara ute poised to become a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). This contradicts a statement from a Nissan engineer in late 2022, who declared e-Power as the brand's primary hybrid technology before full electrification. This shift reflects Nissan's commitment to offering at least one PHEV in the near future.

Nissan Navara

However, there's a twist. Nissan currently lacks a PHEV powertrain within its global lineup. This suggests they might borrow the system from their alliance partner, Mitsubishi. This makes perfect sense considering the next-generation Navara will share its platform and technology with the Mitsubishi Triton. Notably, Mitsubishi hasn't officially confirmed a PHEV version of their new Triton, only stating they're exploring the best electrification path for their Toyota HiLux competitor. This means a Nissan PHEV confirmation could inadvertently reveal Mitsubishi's plans as well. If both brands adopt PHEV technology, the Navara and Triton would join the BYD Shark and Ford Ranger as plug-in hybrid ute options in Australia.

Nissan Navara pickup

Despite the potential collaboration, Nissan's Senior Vice-President and Chief Planning Officer for the AMIEO region (Africa, Middle East, India, Europe, and Oceania), Francois Bailly, expressed reservations about PHEVs. He highlighted the economic challenges of PHEVs due to the large battery and engine combination, questioning their long-term sustainability. He sees PHEVs as a potential bridge technology towards full electrification, only viable with government subsidies to offset their higher costs. Interestingly, when directly questioned about the possibility of a PHEV Navara or Patrol (another large Nissan SUV), Mr. Bailly simply replied, "Very good question," leaving room for speculation.

Regardless of the chosen technology, Nissan acknowledges the need to electrify its one-tonne ute and large off-road SUV segments, both crucial for the brand's future. Mr. Bailly confirmed, "Everything about electrifying sports cars applies to frame vehicles like the Patrol and Navara. The intention to move them towards electrification is definitely there." He acknowledged the potential benefits and customer demand for electrified utes, emphasizing the need for a well-timed and well-executed strategy.


In conclusion, Nissan is charting a new course towards electrification for its workhorse ute, the Navara. While a PHEV seems likely, a potential collaboration with Mitsubishi and the technology itself remain shrouded in some mystery. Nissan recognizes the need for electrification but highlights economic concerns surrounding PHEVs. Ultimately, the brand is committed to offering an electrified option for the Navara and Patrol at the right time and in the right way.

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