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Automakers Discuss a New Entry into the EV Market - a Midsize Pickup Truck

Written By, Jordan R

Electric vehicles are here to stay, with just about every automaker releasing an electrified variant of a popular nameplate, or going with an all-new all-electric endeavor. This means we’re going to start seeing new EVs for different vehicle segments, not just small passenger cars. In fact, when was the last time a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) or EV wasn’t an SUV or at the very least a large hatchback? The gates have been blown open, and after startup Rivian made the RT1 fully electric pickup truck, automakers were turned on their heads. If that can be done, then why aren’t the big players getting in on the action? Multiple automakers have released electric trucks, but Nissan and General Motors are waking up, and it might not just be electric pickup trucks stepping into the limelight - tiny electric trucks are starting to gain traction as the new hype.

Most recently, Ram Truck unveiled its Ram Revolution 1500 BEV (battery-electric vehicle) BEV concept during the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). It’s sure to be the first of many new entries into the EV space starting to grow in the market, and automaker General Motors is in talks to release not just an electric pickup truck, but also a pickup truck segment that’s lacking quite a bit – midsize pickup trucks. The last time we saw a midsize pickup truck was the 2021 Dodge Dakota before Ram split from Dodge to form Ram Truck. Midsize light-duty pickup trucks then disappeared until a few years ago when the 2020 Jeep Gladiator was revealed in 2018.

Yes, the original 4x4 automaker released its own pickup truck. It’s the combination of the Jeep Wrangler and a truck bed. When the Wrangler came out with a midsize pickup truck, the market started opening up a long-forgotten segment all over again. Even Mitsubishi Motors was in talks of bringing its pickup Triton to the U.S. to test the waters. With Jeep and Ram being two of the strongest brands in the Stellantis automotive group, Ram also leaked some details about following suit, and information about a Ram 1200 circled the internet. It’s unclear if the idea was scrapped, or that leak was just a rumor, but with the current Revolution 1500 BEV Concept taking up the spotlight, a midsize Ram is currently on the back-burner.

Even if the Ram 1200 isn’t coming out any time soon, competing automakers are in talks of dipping their toes into electric pickup trucks with a smaller model than what’s currently available. It’s not the worst idea. Who doesn’t tip their toes into the water before diving into the pool? If the model doesn’t sell, no huge loss. And if it does, then a larger electric pickup truck would do even better. Tiny trucks are the perfect way to test out EVs in this segment while also banking on a segment that’s pretty much empty. A small pickup truck is in demand, regardless.

Or at least, that’s what General Motors and Nissan think. According to General Motors Co., spokesman Stuart Fowle, a pint-sized pickup truck is one of several electric options the GM team is looking at, but there’s a lot of steps between talking about it and putting it on the production line. Nissan Motor Co. announced two new battery-powered models are joining their lineup, and after the arrival of the Ariya EV, an electric version of the brand's Frontier pickup is also highly speculative, but possible.

"There are an awful lot of people who are like 'I want a truck, but I don't really need a truck, so this little run-around pickup is fine…For a car company, it's a great little strategy that nobody is really talking about." - Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Kevin Tynan

No matter who decides to take the first leap, it’s all just talk for now. Every 20-30 years, tiny trucks get the green light, but nothing comes of it. With the demand for new ideas to fulfill the promise of upwards of 50+ new EVs for several automotive groups, something new is just what the market needs. Follow along with us on NowCar social media and find out who takes the first step into releasing a tiny electric pickup truck.

Photo Source/Copyright: Nissan