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Vintage Nissan Leaf-powered electric pickup packs ‘2X the power, 3X the torque’ of the gas burner

Nissan flaunted a modified vintage electric truck at SEMA 2022 fitted with a Nissan Leaf motor. The vintage-looking EV pickup was created by Tommy Pike Customs and delivers considerably more power than the original four-cylinder gas burner.

Electric 1987 Nissan Sunny Leaf vintage pickup

As one chapter closes, another opens. A vintage 1987 Nissan Sunny pickup has transitioned into the new era of automobiles, getting a little help from the electric Nissan Leaf.

Although the fully electric Nissan Leaf is not necessarily known for being a speed demon, its motor is on display, showcasing its abilities. South Carolina-based Tommy Pike Customs converted Nissan’s ’87 pickup to a Leaf-powered machine.

The electric vintage pickup features an electric drive motor and 40 kWh lithium battery, thanks to the Nissan Leaf. The electric Sunny is rated at 147 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque. According to Nissan, the electric Leaf upgrades deliver around:

twice the power and more than three times the torque of the gasoline four-cylinder engine originally equipped in the Sunny.

Meanwhile, the EV pickup kept a piece of its history with a factory original 56A manual transmission, something you don’t typically find in electric vehicles (although a few automakers have suggested adding it).

Nissan says the vintage electric pickup is designed to provoke:

Inspiration as to how car enthusiasm can thrive in a future of electric vehicles.

Other custom modifications include:

  • Aluminum battery box
  • LED lighting conversion
  • “Hakosuka” Skyline widebody kit
  • 17-inch Rotiform wheels
  • 205/45/17 Toyo Extensa tires
  • Heavy-duty rear leaf springs and suspension
  • Custom user interface display designed by Clemson University ICAR
  • TPC custom-designed and handcrafted interior with Laedana material by Tesca
  • Tommy Pike / Peter Brock collaboration custom Brock Racing Enterprises (BRE) “46” livery
  • Nissan 240SX S13 front suspension conversion, including front coilovers, disc brakes and lower control arms
Sunny electric LEAF pickup truck Source: Nissan

Electrek’s Take

I’m a big fan of converting vintage cars like the 1987 Sunny pickup to fully electric ones. And Nissan has a point. Converting classic cars to EVs may spark enthusiasm among those that have not yet experienced the thrill of riding in an electric vehicle.

Several companies are working to spark enthusiasm among custom vehicle enthusiasts or hobbyists. For example, Ford started selling its 281 hp Eliminator electric motor precisely so people could create custom EVs.

Electrek also toured ECD Automotive Design’s new facility, where it converts classic Land Rover and Jaguar models using 450 hp Tesla Model S motors and 100 kW battery packs. You can read more about that here.

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Avatar for Peter Johnson Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson is covering the auto industry’s step-by-step transformation to electric vehicles. He is an experienced investor, financial writer, and EV enthusiast. His enthusiasm for electric vehicles, primarily Tesla, is a significant reason he pursued a career in investments. If he isn’t telling you about his latest 10K findings, you can find him enjoying the outdoors or exercising