HiLux BEV Revo concept includes ‘share taxi’ accessory

    There’s no doubt that Toyota’s EV story is off to an incredibly slow start. While the company has shipped a large volume of hybrid vehicles, its pure EV efforts have been slow, largely as a result of a distraction from failed attempts to go in the hydrogen direction.

    Thankfully things are slowly changing with Toyota’s EV platform and recently Australia marked another milestone in its progress. That milestone included evaluation testing from local engineers and selected industry partners who were given the opportunity to evaluate the company’s first fully electric battery-powered HiLux prototype.

    The one-off technology showcase was entrusted to the local company’s renowned vehicle evaluation team for confirmation drives. Several large-volume HiLux customers and other valued clients were also asked to put the vehicle through its paces and provide their feedback.

    Toyota Motor Corporation’s decision to send the concept to Australia involved close collaboration with Toyota Thailand associates 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.

    A Share Taxi is a mode of transport which falls between a taxicab and a bus. These vehicles for hire are typically smaller than buses and usually take passengers on a fixed or largely fixed route without timetables. These are popular in developing countries.

    In the images released by Toyota, we see a front and rear view of this concept, which shows potential for large bed accessories on the platform and it’s easy to extend this to a pop-top camper option.  

    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.

    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.

    It is further evidence of the broad scope of Toyota’s multi-path strategy for achieving carbon-free mobility, applying different powertrain solutions to suit different user needs and operating environments worldwide.

    Toyota Australia Vice President Sales, Marketing & Franchise Operations Sean Hanley
    Toyota HiLux Revo BEV Concept vehicle.

    He said Toyota Australia was 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.

    Under the skin, this vehicle is powered by Toyota’s EV-related technologies developed over more than a quarter of a century, including batteries, motors, inverters and power-control units.

    It’s a strong indicator of Toyota’s determination to overcome the challenges of electrifying our commercial vehicles, ensuring there are multiple options that can meet the expectations of end users.

    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 HiLux GR Sport.

    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 world, a production powerhouse that builds HiLux and competitor workhorse vehicles for carmakers and markets around the world.

    Jason Cartwright
    Jason Cartwright
    Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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