Nissan Navara EnGuard: an all-terrain pickup that packs an electric punch

  • Extreme emergency response vehicle concept
  • Uses twin portable battery packs and camera drone
  • See it in video action with Surrey Search and Rescue 

Oneupmanship is common amongst manufacturers at motorshows, but it’s not that common to see it self-inflicted. Nissan has two debuts at the 2016 IAA Commercial Vehicle Show: the NV300 van and this, the Navara EnGuard pickup concept. Guess which one we’ve chosen to write up first?

Yep, that’d be the one with the fluorescent green wheels, the chunky bodywork and a drone in the boot…

Nissan Navara EnGuard all-terrain rescue concept

(Don’t worry, full details of the NV300 will be along shortly.)

What’s the point of the Nissan Navara EnGuard concept?

The Navara EnGuard concept is an extreme emergency response vehicle, with a bit of an electric twist.

Alongside those monster wheels, 50mm ride-height increase (over the standard NP300 Navara its based on) and the bulging bodywork extensions – complete with strobe lights in the top of the wheelarches and on each corner of the swollen roof – it also features a pair of electric battery packs in the loadbed, and a DJI Phantom drone in a box in order to help first responders survey the dangers ahead.

Nissan Navara EnGuard all-terrain rescue concept

Output from the drone’s camera can be viewed on what is quite literally a widescreen TV that pops up from the side of the truck, while a second shelf in the load area contains other lifesaving rescue essentials such as radios, ropes and torches. Not to mention an axe.

And those fancy green details? They’ve been scientifically (no, really) chosen for maximum visibility, and positioned carefully on the Navara EnGuard for the same reason.

Is the Navara EnGuard concept an electric vehicle?

Not in a conventional sense – it’s still powered by a standard Navara’s 2.3-litre 190hp twin-turbo diesel engine. However, that engine also keeps the pair of portable battery packs loaded in the back fully charged at all times.

This isn’t in order to help you out if you run out of diesel in the middle of the Sahara. Rather, the idea is the battery packs can be removed at the scene of the rescue in order to provide mobile power to essential tools, such as lighting rigs and cutting equipment.

Nissan Navara EnGuard all-terrain rescue concept

Basically, they’re emissions-free generators, suitable for use in enclosed areas where a conventional generator could not safely be used due to the fumes and/or flammable fuel – inside a cave for example.

How realistic is the EnGuard concept?

Well, the truck itself is just a mildly enhanced version of exactly the thing you can go out and buy in your local Nissan dealership.

As for the battery packs, these are each made from seven of the batteries that power the Nissan Leaf electric car – so this is actual Nissan technology, repurposed, rather than total fantasy. According to the firm’s European EV guru, Gareth Dunsmore, each of the EnGuard’s packs stores enough energy to power a set of emergency lights for a day, recharge your typical electric drill 150 times – or your smartphone 400 times.

In an idealistic future world, they could even be used to bring power to remote areas, to enable off-grid construction work, for instance.

But the emergency response scenario also perfectly demonstrates the capabilities of such a concept – and Nissan has been working with Surrey Search and Rescue to make sure it’s got the details just right, as you can see in the official video, below.

Also read:

>> Nissan Navara full review on Parkers

>> 2016 IAA Commercial Vehicle Show – everything you need to know

>> Electric pickups coming soon

>> Best pickups in the UK