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Nissan-based electric tradie ute unveiled in China

By Alex Rae, 18 Jul 2019 News

Nissan-based electric tradie ute unveiled in China

Nissan has helped build an all-electric dual-cab ute with one of China’s largest automakers

Nissan’s ageing Navara dual-cab platform has underpinned an all-electric tradie ute that is capable of a claimed 400km range.

Head of electrification for the Japanese maker, Nic Thomas postulated to Wheels just last week that its upcoming electric vehicle platform might underpin an electric ute in the future. However, it appears it has already built one with the Navara as the base for an electric pick-up in China.

Source: Car News China

Named the Nissan-Dongfeng Rich 6 EV dual-cab ute, the electrified workhorse has been unveiled ahead of its on-sale date next month. Nissan’s joint-venture with the Chinese automaker has seen the D22 Navara’s F-Alpha platform underpin two generations of the Rich ute in its home market.

Read next: 2019 Nissan Navara updates and pricing

Usually powered by a choice of either a 2.4-litre petrol or 3.0-litre diesel turbo engine, the new Rich 6 EV replaces combustion power and four-wheel-drive from a single electric motor that produces 119kW and 420Nm of torque. No acceleration performance details are provided, except that the Rich 6 EV has an unflattering payload capacity of 490kg.

The battery is a 68kWh lithium-ion cell pack that provides an NEDC claimed range of 403km. That’s a pretty handy range for the urban tradie, but keep in mind that NEDC is an outdated and less accurate (inflated) testing protocol. As a comparison, the Hyundai Kona EV with its 64kWh battery, has an NEDC range of 557km and more accurate WLTP range of 449km. Usefully, the battery in the Rich EV is fast-charge compatible and can energise from flat to 80 percent capacity in 45 minutes.

Read next: 2018 Nissan Navara development drive

It is otherwise a pretty regular four-door, five-seat ute, measuring 45mm longer, 60mm narrower and 10mm lower in height compared to the Nissan Navara 4x4 dual-cab. Surprisingly, it is not much heavier than the diesel Navara despite the large battery pack, tipping the scales just 88kg heavier – the addition of a second motor to achieve 4x4 capabilities would increase that further.

The real kicker is that, unlike in Australia where even the most basic of electric car costs $50,000, the Rich 6 EV is expected to be priced around $24,000 after Chinese government subsidies.

Is it for Australia? Highly unlikely, though it is a preview of what the future of the ute could look like.