Concept cars may normally be the preserve of motor shows where they simply sit and look pretty on a stand and don’t even need an engine. However, Nissan engineers in the USA have made their own car concept into a reality by splicing together a Leaf electric car and Navara pickup.
This isn’t just for show though. Staff at Nissan’s technical centre in Stanfield, Arizona use this fully functional one-off electric machine to cart supplies and people around the facility’s sprawling 3,050 acre site.
Roland Schellenberg, who works in the durability and reliability department, said: "We tried to keep it a secret and be exciting for everybody. But we have visitors and they come and they see that truck and they go straight to 'what is it?' and they start looking at it, and it makes great conversation."
"I needed a project for a team building activity so we can bring the team together. We had a need for a truck. Something to drive around, a shop truck."
Being a slick truck, and not so tough, I see it as a boy – but a boy with a heart. It's something that we all put together. We all share. So it has a little bit of everybody in there.
Arnold Moulinet, who also works in the durability and reliability team, added: "After he [Schellenberg] told us it was going to be the Leaf that we would redo, I went home and stayed up till four in the morning making all kinds of designs for what would work.
“We basically got the stock Leaf, and after reviewing a bunch of designs of pickup trucks that we have here at Nissan, we decided to go with a Navara bed."
Known as “Sparky” this electric creation features the front of Nissan’s Leaf and the pickup truck from the Navara.
"Being a slick truck, and not so tough, I see it as a boy – but a boy with a heart. It's something that we all put together. We all share. So it has a little bit of everybody in there," said Schellenberg.
Picture: Nissan USA
September 19, 2014