Japanese car manufacturer Toyota, and Australian mining giant BHP, have begun trialling an electric-powered Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series for usage in the mining industry.
Converted to full electric power by Toyota's Product Planning and Development division in Port Melbourne, the LandCruiser looks to use the diesel production car's existing live axles and front coil/rear leaf suspension setup. The electric motor is likely to be housed where a 4.5-litre turbo-diesel V8 used to exist: under the bonnet.
The trial will take place at an undisclosed nickel mine owned by BHP in Western Australia, where the LandCruiser will likely spend a large portion of its life underground.
Edgar Basto, president of BHP's Minerals Australia, said in a press release: "This partnership is another step in our ongoing studies into how we can reduce the emissions intensity of our light-vehicle fleet."
"Reducing our reliance on diesel at our operations will help achieve our medium-term target of reducing operational emissions by 30 per cent by 2030."
Mechanical specifications and details about the conversion have not been released, with the trial is still in its infancy. In a similar vein, Toyota remains tight-lipped about whether this trial will pave a way forward for an electric 70 Series LandCruiser for public sale.
This isn't the first example of such a conversion for the LandCruiser in the mining industry, with Australian company GB Auto signing a $330 million deal to supply 2000 electric-converted vehicles to the Australian mining industry over four years.
And, proving that a simple ladder chassis and driveline can be a good candidate for electric conversions, this Australian startup is making waves converting old petrol and diesel Land Rovers into fully electric vehicles for road use.