- Toyota brings the Hilux Revo BEV electrical pickup idea to Australia for testing, forward of a potential market launch sooner or later.
- The Hilux Revo BEV Idea was constructed by engineers at Toyota Thailand, the place the gas- and diesel-powered Hilux vehicles are produced, as a one-off utilizing Toyota EV elements.
- The automaker previewed an electrical Tacoma in 2021, however has not indicated when North America might see such a mannequin arrive in manufacturing type.
All eyes this fall are on the Cybertruck, as Tesla prepares to begin manufacturing of its long-delayed electrical pickup. However Toyota is not ignoring this phase both, even when stays a little bit of an EV skeptic.
Earlier this month the Japanese automaker commenced testing of the Hilux BEV Revo in Australia, after the idea’s debut in December 2022. The newest spherical of trials with trade companions and native engineers might be a way of testing the waters with sellers and fleets, forward of manufacturing launch of the same mannequin down the highway.
The Hilux BEV Revo Idea itself is predicated on the model of the truck produced in Thailand for the Australia and Oceania markets, and it was constructed as a one-off. It maintains the seems of the manufacturing mannequin, which comes with both a fuel or a diesel engine, although it sports activities a closed-off grille and a charging port on the entrance left fender.
The truck itself is extra of a ute than the rest (in line with the unique Australian definition), with Toyota noting that Thailand is the “ute capital of the world,” with 145,000 Hilux gross sales in that nation in 2022 alone. Australia is a bit additional again with 64,000 gross sales final 12 months—however that is nonetheless sufficient to make the Hilux Australia’s best-selling car.
“Our analysis engineers and trade companions have confirmed that this city-focused HiLux BEV—whereas very a lot an idea car—seems, feels and drives like a manufacturing mannequin,” mentioned Sean Hanley, Toyota Australia vice chairman of gross sales, advertising and marketing & franchise operations.
Might such a mannequin be supplied within the U.S. sooner or later?
The Rooster Tax will surely require that any electrical truck mannequin for the U.S. be produced right here as effectively, so a Hilux in all probability is not within the playing cards. And if trade traits are any indication, a Tacoma or one other mannequin with a battery-electric drivetrain is one thing that must be engineered alongside the gasoline mannequin, moderately than being retrofitted with an EV drivetrain deep right into a manufacturing cycle. So if Toyota had been to supply a mid-size electrical pickup within the U.S., it must be intently synced up with the debut of a next-gen truck mannequin.
Toyota already revealed a Tacoma EV pickup idea in 2021, whereas additionally indicating that such a mannequin was in growth, however didn’t provide timelines or specifics on the time. However even in the course of the Hilux REVO idea’s debut final 12 months, Toyota president Akio Toyoda poured loads of chilly water on the prospect of an speedy debut of an electrical pickup from the automaker.
“I imagine we should be sensible about when society will have the ability to totally undertake battery-electric automobiles and when our infrastructure can help them at scale,” Toyoda mentioned in 2022.
“As a result of identical to the totally autonomous vehicles that we had been all presupposed to be driving by now, I feel BEVs are simply going to take longer to change into mainstream than the media would love us to imagine. And admittedly, BEVs usually are not the one solution to obtain the world’s carbon neutrality objectives.”
If there may be any trigger for optimism, it is the truth that the Tacoma is new for 2024, which suggests we might see an EV model of it comparatively quickly, actually inside this product cycle moderately than the subsequent. The electrical Tacoma can be prone to be primarily based solely on the four-door model of the pickup, paired with a brief mattress, in line with trade traits.
Whether or not we’ll see it as quickly as late 2024 or early 2025 stays to be seen. Nevertheless it’s price noting that Toyota has dedicated to releasing 10 new EVs by 2026. So at the least one of these fashions, we anticipate, might be a pickup truck.
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Jay Ramey grew up round very unusual European vehicles, and as an alternative of in search of out one thing dependable and cozy for his personal private use he has been drawn to the extra adventurous aspect of the dependability spectrum. Regardless of being adopted round by French vehicles for the previous decade, he has by some means been in a position to keep away from Citroën possession, judging them too commonplace, and is at the moment vehicles from the previous Czechoslovakia. Jay has been with Autoweek since 2013.