Toyota Australia has marked another milestone in its progress towards zero tailpipe emissions, with local engineers and selected industry partners given the opportunity to evaluate the company’s first fully electric, battery-powered HiLux REVO prototype.
The one-off technology showcase was entrusted to the local company’s renowned vehicle evaluation team, with several large-volume HiLux customers and other valued clients also asked to put the vehicle through its paces and provide their feedback.
Toyota Motor Corporation’s decision to send the priceless concept to Australia involved close collaboration with Toyota Thailand, who built the HiLux BEV as a mobile proving ground amid global plans to electrify Toyota’s commercial vehicles.
The compressed Australian confirmation program has been completed and the vehicle returned to Thailand, where the Toyota distributor will assemble a demonstration fleet of HiLux-based electric share taxis for their domestic market.
Toyota Australia Vice President Sales, Marketing & Franchise Operations Sean Hanley said the HiLux prototype confirmed that Toyota was far more advanced in developing battery-electric vehicles than most people appreciated.
“Our evaluation engineers and industry partners have confirmed that this city-focused HiLux BEV – while very much a concept vehicle – looks, feels and drives like a production model,” Toyota Australia VP of sales, marketing and franchise operations Sean Hanley said.
“I’ve also had the opportunity to drive it – and it’s clear the concept vehicle’s all-electric powertrain delivers the impressive torque you’d normally expect from a diesel engine.”
According to Hanley, Toyota Australia are optimistic about the prospects for the type of city-focused HiLux BEV envisaged by the concept vehicle, and would be keen to bring any such a vehicle to Australia.
The HiLux Revo BEV Concept program is the latest chapter in Toyota’s Thai-Australian relationship that was also instrumental in the development of the recently launched GR Sport variant of the popular ute.
HiLux has been Australia’s best-selling vehicle for the past seven years, with more than 64,000 sales last year. It is even more popular in Thailand, where demand topped 145,000 vehicles in 2022.
Thailand is the “ute capital” of the automotive globe, a production powerhouse that builds HiLux and competitor workhorse vehicles for carmakers and markets around the world.