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Nissan's new solid state battery plant foreshadows a 2028 electric Navara ute and GT-R sports car: Driving range up to 1000km and power over 1000kW possible with new tech

Nissan’s new battery plant will be key to an electric Navara that may emerge in 2028. (Image: Thanos Pappas)

Think Nissan’s out-there 2023 Hyper Force concept was all for show? Think again. The Japanese carmaker has revealed its work-in-progress solid state battery plant in Yokohama. 

The new technology is viewed by some as the silver bullet to electric car adoption, promising faster charge rates, lower fire risk and more than twice the energy density of current lithium-ion batteries – meaning 1000km driving range is not out of the question.

Nissan is showing off the battery assembly line that could provide charge to next-generation electric vehicles from the Navara to GT-R. The expected timeline of solid-state production viability is Fiscal year 2028 (end of March 2029).

Solid state batteries use solid electrolytes rather than the liquid or gel materials used in current battery technology.

The hint for an electric Navara comes from the brand itself: “Nissan plans to use all-solid-state batteries in a wide range of vehicle segments, including pick-up trucks, making its EVs more competitive”, it said in a statement. 

Nissan’s existing Navara has been around since 2014 with a heavy facelift in 2020. In March, the company announced “The Arc” new model plan and teased what looks like a new-gen Navara ute in a shadowy video, before confirming a one-tonne pick-up truck is due for reveal later this year. 

An impression of what Nissan's next-gen Navara might look like. (Image: Thanos Pappas)

The Navara is expected to use the same underpinnings as Mitsubishi’s new Triton which has reportedly been developed with electrification in mind, ranging from plugless hybrid to full battery-electric options. 

Initially, we expect the Navara to do without a battery option as, following MD Adam Paterson’s comments to CarsGuide, the brand won't settle for compromised driving range, towing capability or power with a quick turnaround electric ute.

Much like the solid state battery plant, we probably won’t see production versions of an electric Navara running around until at least 2028.  

If Nissan’s solid-state batteries are on line and delivering the promises of excellent energy density and fast charging by then, it could be the perfect time to reboot some other icons. 

The Hyper Force gives a hint of Nissan's next GT-R.

A desert-bashing 1000kW electric Nissan Patrol off-roader? Yes please. And while we’re at it, Nissan’s Hyper Force concept (October 2023) gives a vision – albeit exaggerated – of what an R36 GT-R could look like, with promises of one megawatt outputs, active aerodynamics and torque vectoring all-wheel drive. 

Nissan’s current electric car line-up is fairly limited with only the ageing Leaf small car available in Australia. The Ariya medium SUV has been held up in Australia due to it not complying with Australian Design Rules (ADRs) but it's sold in other markets including Europe, while the Sakura is an electric kei car twinned with the Mitsubishi eK X EV. 

Another Japanese company that championed solid state battery tech was Toyota, though it appears to have revised its solid state plans further back into the future. Chinese brand IM  – which falls under the SAIC umbrella along with MG – will release a vehicle with semi-solid batteries using a mix of solid and gel electrolytes this year.

Nissan continues to invest in and work on the new technology with an expected release of 2028-29 for production solid-state batteries. 

John Law
Deputy News Editor
Born in Sydney’s Inner West, John wasn’t treated to the usual suite of Aussie-built family cars growing up, with his parents choosing quirky (often chevroned) French motors that shaped his love of cars. The call of motoring journalism was too strong to deny and in 2019 John kickstarted his career at Chasing Cars. A move to WhichCar and Wheels magazine exposed him to a different side of the industry and the glossy pages of physical magazines. John is back on the digital side of things at CarsGuide, where he’s taken up a role as Deputy News Editor spinning yarns about the latest happenings in the automotive industry. When he isn’t working, John can be found tooling around in either his 2002 Renault Clio Sport 172 or 1983 Alfasud Gold Cloverleaf.  
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