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Is the Navara going electric? Nissan reveals four electric concepts including Rivian-rivalling ute and confirms solid state batteries

The Surf-Out concept will use Nissan’s e-4orce all-wheel drive system.

Nissan has revealed not one but four future electric vehicle concepts, including a fully electric ute that could eventually replace the Navara.

The Japanese carmaker has revealed the quad of cars as part of its Ambition 2030 vision outlining its plans to electrify its model line-up, which includes a shift to solid-state batteries.

While three of the concepts, including the ute, are clearly more futuristic, the Nissan Chill-Out crossover concept previews a model that will soon become a production reality.

The images reveal that the Chill-Out is the crossover that CarsGuide reported on in October that is set to be built at Nissan’s UK factory from about 2025.

As reported, it may well take the place of the Leaf in Nissan’s line-up as its entry-level EV when the hatchback comes to the end of its model life, sitting under the forthcoming Ariya medium-sized electric SUV.

Nissan hasn’t provided much detail about the Chill-Out, but it did confirm that it will be built on the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance CMF-EV platform that underpins the Ariya and the Renault Megane E-Tech. That means unlike the other three concepts, it won’t use solid state batteries, and will instead employ lithium-ion batteries as per the Ariya.

The Chill-Out will likely compete with the Megane E-Tech as well as the Mazda MX-30, new Kia Niro, and the Peugeot e-2008.

The Chill-Out concept will soon become a production reality.  The Chill-Out concept will soon become a production reality.

The remaining three concepts fall under the Nissan EV Technology Vision previewing the company’s future beyond the new crossover and the Ariya.

The three concepts – Max-Out, Surf-Out and Hang-Out – are powered by solid state battery technology integrated into a skateboard like platform which means it can be used for various vehicle types.

According to Nissan, the two-door Surf-Out ute concept is an off-road-capable adventure vehicle using an advanced version of its upcoming ‘e-4orce’ electric all-wheel drive system which is expected to offer greater levels of comfort and improved handling.

Being a ute, it also offers an extended low and flat cargo space, and it will be able to power electrical items. It features a rather adorable LED love heart on the ute’s tailgate.

Nissan says the Max-Out uses solid state batteries to improve centre of gravity. Nissan says the Max-Out uses solid state batteries to improve centre of gravity.

The Max-Out is Nissan’s vision of a future convertible sports car, combining retro cues with futuristic design elements. The Max-Out is ultra-lightweight, has a very low centre of gravity and also uses the e-4orce system.

Nissan says the seats flatten into the floor for more interior space when required. The two-seater will have minimal body roll and a focus on dynamic driving.

Finally, the Hang-Out concept is a cross between a hatch, MPV and small SUV, with stubby styling, smooth lines and cool LED lighting.

It has a flat and low floor extending from front to back for a flexible interior. Nissan says it is aiming for a living room vibe for the Hang-Out, with theatre-like seating, and fewer vibrations and jolts in a bid to reduce motion sickness. It also uses e-4orce and an advanced version of the ProPilot suite of driver aids.

The boxy Hang-Out concept has an open and flexible cabin. The boxy Hang-Out concept has an open and flexible cabin.

Under the Ambition 2030 plan, Nissan is investing $24.6 billion over the next five years, and it aims to be carbon neutral by 2050.

Nissan will introduce 23 new electrified models by 2030, which includes 15 new battery electric vehicles, and an electrification mix of more than 50 per cent globally for both Nissan and Infiniti brands.

There will be 20 new EV and e-Power hybrid models in the next five years and the global mix will change. In Europe, electrification will make up more than 75 per cent of sale, while Japan will be 55 per cent, and China and the US will be 40 per cent apiece.

Nissan also plans to bring down the cost of its batteries by 65 per cent by 2028 by evolving lithium-ion battery tech and introducing cobalt-free technology.

Beyond that, Nissan will launch all-solid-state batteries by 2028, with a pilot program kicking off at its Yokohama home city by 2024.

Nissan says solid state batteries will be able to expand its EV offerings to different segments and reduce charging time by a third. The company expects to achieve cost parity between EV and petrol vehicles by eventually bringing down the cost of battery packs to $65 per kWh using solid state batteries.

It will establish a global battery supply system and increase battery production by 2026, and expand its ProPilot advanced driver safety suite by the same year by further developing autonomous tech. There are also plans to expand its battery repurposing and recycling schemes to other markets like Japan, China and the US.