Hercules Alpha could usher in a Nissan electric pickup [Update]

The Hercules Alpha electric pickup will reportedly form the technical basis for the first Nissan electric pickup truck. Venture capitalist James Breyer founded Hercules Electric Vehicles and is also the CEO of the company.

Positioning & Specifications

Hercules Electric Vehicles says that the Hercules Alpha is an all-electric ‘sport’ pickup truck, which indicates that the company plans to release it as an eco-friendly performance model like GM introduced the GMC Hummer EV pickup.

The Hercules Alpha’s highlights would include up to 1,000 hp, up to 800 ft-lb of torque, four-wheel Torque vectoring, etc. A solar tonneau cover would be standard, generating 1.2 kW, enough to add 19 miles to the available range. The most range-focused configuration would do about 350 miles on a full charge. On the other hand, the most performance-focused configuration would zoom from 0-60 mph in just three seconds, have a 120 mph top speed, and a 12,500-pound towing capacity.

Hercules Alpha front three quarters rendering
On March 24, 2021, Hercules Electric Vehicles opened a $20 million Series A investment round to raise the capital needed to launch the Hercules Alpha and other EVs. Image Source: Hercules Electric Vehicles

In 2-3 years, the electric pickup truck market will be flush with options, and Nissan doesn’t intend to lag behind the competition. The company doesn’t have an indigenous rival for this race yet, but it could launch a Nissan Titan electric pickup based on the Hercules Alpha, as per a report on bloomberg.com from November 2020.

While Nissan Titan sales dropped 38% in 2019 and about 24% in 2020, it has recovered this year, posting a YoY growth of 45.8 percent (17,776 units) for the first half of 2021. However, these numbers fade in comparison to the leaders in the segment such as the F-150, Silverado and the Tundra.

In the coming years, rivals would woo customers away with new models and pure electric options. On the EV front, the Ford F-150 Lightning is due in mid-2022, and the same year, General Motors will release the Chevrolet Silverado Electric. While Toyota has confirmed an electric pickup, Stellantis has announced the RAM 1500 Electric for 2024. Nissan, not an aggressive contender with electric pickups along with Japanese automakers Toyota and Honda, is under the pump.

Hercules Alpha rear three quarters rendering
A Nissan Titan electric pickup running a Hercules-developed electric powertrain could have the capabilities, range, and affordability to compete with Ford and RAM offerings. Image Source: Hercules Electric Vehicles

Sources have told Bloomberg that Nissan Motor is discussing collaboration with Detroit-based startup Hercules for its first electric pickup truck.

Nissan would need specifications tilting towards conventional pickup truck capabilities, range, and affordability rather than sheer performance for the Titan electric pickup. As per the report, Nissan is considering purchasing a pure electric powertrain from Hercules for the Titan pickup truck. The company is interested in striking a deal for parts-sharing and a strategic partnership for the same. However, since the development, there haven’t been reports on the progress.

Pininfarina to design the Hercules Alpha

The Hercules Alpha electric pickup’s design will come from Italian design house Pininfarina, Hercules Electric Vehicles confirmed in an announcement on July 6, 2021. The company has signed a strategic agreement with Pininfarina for the design of its products. The companies are likely to start working immediately on the Alpha and other Hercules EVs that are not in public knowledge. The announcement reconfirms that the Alpha is on track for launch in late 2022, as Hercules Electric Vehicles previously announced.

Featured Image Source: Nissan