The world's first electric ute is a Chinese-made Nissan Navara
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Just a few days ago, we talked about the race to be first to produce a fully electric pick-up.
But, they've all been pipped to the post by a Chinese firm that have produced not one, but two of the things.
Dongfeng are a relatively popular brand in the Chinese market, offering everything from superminis and SUVs to enormous semi trucks. And, somewhere in the middle, are the company's Rich ute line-up.
Not rich in the sense of breadth or depth, mind you, but purely by name. The manufacturer have long been affiliated with Nissan, having brought D21 and D22 Navaras to the Chinese market in the '90s before deciding to sell rebadged face-lifted versions from 2005 onwards — badged as the Dongfeng Rich.
The latest offering in the DongFeng Rich line-up is the 6 — a model based on the current Navara, but sporting an admittedly attractive Dongfeng-designed nose-job. The brand also still sell a lower-cost ute, which appears to be based on the previous generation D40 Navara. Now, they've launched EV versions of both utes.
The cheaper model [pictured second, simply called the Rich] sports an estimated power output of 85kW and 305km range, while the most modern Rich 6 gets 120kW and an impressive 403km range made possible by a 68kWh battery.
In the home market of both models, they command a price of approximately $59,000 and $65,600 respectively.
The short answer to the inevitable 'will they come to New Zealand' question is; probably not. The long answer is that with Nissan's relationship with Renault and Mitsubishi becoming increasingly problematic, who knows what the future of the Navara is beyond the upcoming mild refresh.
Still, if Nissan is looking to push the Leaf in western markets like ours, they could do worse than compliment it with an equally green double-cab ute ...