The Thai market is very fond of small pickup trucks like the Toyota Hilux.
The new 2024 Tacoma is offered with an hybrid drivetrain.
The EV version of the Hilux is already on the way.
Even if Toyota intends to surprise EV enthusiasts in Tokyo in a few days’ time, that doesn’t mean it isn’t working on other related projects. One of these projects concerns another type of vehicle that has nothing to do with the performance coupe (FT-Se) or the crossover (FT-3e) planned for the exhibition in the Japanese capital.
In fact, Toyota must also think of its loyal truck consumers, notably the Hilux, which is in some ways a distant cousin of the Tacoma sold in North America. Mind you, the two models are not as similar as Ford’s Ranger, which is a slightly modified variant for the North American continent.
Well, it seems that development of the very first 100% electric pickup truck is already underway, as a prototype of the electrified pickup was spotted in Australia, a pretty tough place to test vehicles. The HiLux BEV prototype was presented in December 2022, to mark Toyota’s 60th anniversary on the Thai market, the fourth largest in the world for Toyota’s production strength.
The little Hilux truck is still one of the sales leaders in Thailand, and that’s not all, as the Asian country is also known for its drivers’ appetite for EVs. The development of an all-electric pickup truck seems ideal for this part of the globe.
However, to maintain a favorable market share in North America, Toyota must prepare for the complete electrification of its two models equipped with a cargo box: the Tacoma and the Tundra. On the continent, the electric pickup market is exploding, with the Rivian R1T, Ford F-150 Lightning, GMC Hummer Truck and others already announced: Chevrolet Silverado EV, Ram 1500 REV, Tesla Cybertruck, etc.
The prototype sent to Australia returned to Thailand for the next stage in the design of Toyota’s first electric pickup. In the light of these initial tests, it’s safe to assume that the rest of the world will receive the electric Toyota Hilux before the Tacoma/Tundra tandem is also transformed for the global electrification of the automaker’s fleet. In other words, we will have to wait a bit longer before we see an electric Toyota pickup in North America.
But before that happens, Toyota will be pushing the hybrid technology already on board the Tundra, which will soon be found under the hood of the all-new 2024 Tacoma.