The Nissan Leaf pickup truck is what happens when you give automotive engineers a blank cheque to tool around in the shop.
It’s the brainchild of Nissan’s Roland Schellenberg and Arnold Moulinet from the brand’s Technical Center in Stanfield, Arizona, who came up with the idea for an electric ute to help haul supplies and people around the facility.
“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,” said Schellenberg.
The red Leaf is known as Sparky and it utilizes the truck bed of the Nissan Frontier.
“After he (Schellenberg) told us it was going to be the LEAF that we would redo, I went home and stayed up till like four in the morning making all kinds of designs for what would work,” said Moulinet who is Schellenberg’s colleague in the Durability & Reliability group.
“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 Frontier bed. My main job here is working on rough-road vehicles, rough-road testing. I’m pretty good at taking cars completely apart to the bare frame and putting them back together again to resume testing.”