A pure-electric Toyota HiLux ute could one day be sold in Australian showrooms, but only after it has been tested to handle our tough conditions.
As Tesla, Ford and Chevrolet prepare to launch electric pick-ups in the US, Toyota says it has not ruled out the possibility of a battery-electric version of Australia's top-selling vehicle, the Toyota HiLux.
Toyota has previously said every model in its range will have the option of hybrid or pure-electric power – including the Toyota HiLux – by 2025.
However it is believed a diesel-hybrid option is initially more likely.
Now there is a chance there could one day be a pure-electric Toyota HiLux, though it would likely be a decade away or more.
When asked about the imminent arrival of electric versions of the Tesla Cybertruck, Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado in the US – and the possibility of a Toyota rival – executives said an electric Toyota HiLux could not be ruled out.
In a media conference in Sydney today, the senior product planner for Toyota Australia, Rod Ferguson, said: “We have not ruled out a pure-electric HiLux”.
The Toyota executive said an electric Toyota HiLux would “definitely be a challenge, but until we get to point where we say we can’t do it, we will explore every option”.
The technology must be considered against Australia’s harsh environment, said Mr Ferguson, however advancements in battery systems could one day make an electric heavy-duty ute possible.
“We need to consider the packaging and changing platforms (vehicle architecture),” said Mr Ferguson. “We haven’t ruled it out.”
Earlier today, Toyota announced it had pushed back its deadline for the rollout of a hybrid or electric option for “every model in its range” from 2025 to 2030.