Nissan raids its parts bin to build an electric Leaf pickup truck

Other than Tesla Motors’ semi-serious proposal to build a pickup in Texas, there hasn’t been much talk of an all-electric truck.

So what’s sustainably-minded pickup buyer to do?

The only real option is to cut up an existing electric car and add a pickup bed, which is exactly what Nissan did to a Leaf at its proving ground in Stanfield, Arizona.

“Sparky” is a Leaf with the bed from a Frontier midsize pickup grafted on. It’s used to haul parts around the Arizona facility, which is where Nissan does much of its hot-weather testing.

It may have been the product of an OEM, but the Leaf pickup was designed like an aftermarket customization job, using whatever parts worked.

Once engineers cut away the Leaf’s roof and rear doors, they found the Frontier bed was the perfect length, although it did have to be narrowed to fit the former hatchback’s track.

Related: Nissan’s self-driving car for 2020 won’t be fully autonomous

The bulkhead between cab and bed actually came from a full-size Titan, and even retains the truck’s power rear window.

The electric trucklet still looks like a stock Leaf at the front, but at the back, designers had to rearrange the taillights, and even incorporated the stock rear spoiler and third brake light into the tailgate.

While it would be the perfect vehicle for eco-friendly lawn-care services the Leaf pickup truck is just a one-off project vehicle.

Nissan does plan to sell the e-NV200 electric van to workaday customers in the U.S. soon, but it’s nowhere near as entertaining as this Leaf.

This is just the latest of many Leaf adaptations. Because there are so few electric cars on the market, the Leaf has been called upon to fill a variety of roles, including police car, taxi, and even stretch limousine.


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