Tradies, outdoor lovers and ute enthusiasts, we’ve got a question for you. Would you drive an electric HiLux ute if Toyota released one? Online discussion forums have filled with heated discussions this week, since a Toyota executive said in a media conference that a hybrid or electric HiLux ‘could not be ruled out’ in the near future.
Journalists asked Toyota Australia’s senior product planner, Rod Ferguson, about the possibility of a Toyota rival to the electric versions of the Chevrolet Silverado, Tesla Cybertruck and Ford F-150, which are all set to hit the global market imminently.
According to CarAdvice, in the media conference, Ferguson responded, “We have not ruled out a pure-electric HiLux,” adding that developing the model would be a challenge, and will most likely not happen for at least 10 years. This comes after Toyota announced it is pushing back its proposed deadline for rolling out a hybrid or electric version for every model of car in its range five years, making the new deadline 2030.
The key difficulties with developing a heavy-duty ute relate to Australia’s harsh environment, poor EV charging infrastructure and the lack of electric battery systems that can run powerful engines reliably.
What people have to say about a Hilux ute
On CarAdvice’s forum, some commenters were amused.
“Electric joke – bring out a v6 3.6LTD you fools! … Cant plug in an electric joke in the outback, Australia needs bigger turbo diesels.” – Jack S.
Some were just not impressed.
“Just don’t want it. Prefer a V6 diesel manual in normal SR5 form not GR or sport anything 70k+ bling bus.” – D.H.
Some, at least, were interested.
“A Hybrid or pure electric Hilux would be perfect for us on a farm that’s powered by solar. Would likely grab it in a heartbeat. Still think Fuel Cells are the future, but this would tide us over until they become a reality.” – Zorro.
We’re not sure what we think yet, but if they can pack the same power as a heavy duty diesel engine into an electric version, we’d probably be on board!
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