First look at the electric Hilux ute that’s set to be tested on Australian roads
- Toyota plans to be carbon-neutral by 2050
- Electric car to be delayed until February
Australia’s best-selling car manufacturer, Toyota, will test a prototype electric ute in the country as part of plans to become carbon neutral by 2050.
But the local launch of the company’s first fully electric vehicle will be delayed by months and is not expected to arrive until February next year.
Toyota showed off both vehicles at an event in Melbourne this week, also revealing a new generation of hybrid cars and utes with battery assistance technology.
The showcase came days after the federal government revealed it had received ‘overwhelming’ support for the introduction of a fuel-efficiency standard that could encourage the import of more low-emission vehicles to Australia.
Toyota Australia sales vice-president Sean Hanley said despite criticism of the brand for its failure to launch electric cars, Toyota was working on a range of technologies to reduce vehicle pollution.
Australia’s best-selling car manufacturer, Toyota , will test a prototype electric ute (pictured) in the country as part of plans to become carbon neutral by 2050
The HiLux Revo concept vehicle, he said, was a two-wheel drive ute designed for short journeys that would be tested and evaluated in Australia, though its release was unclear.
‘What I can’t tell you is when or even if this car will make it to Australia as a production model,’ he said.
‘But what I can tell you is that we’re optimistic and we will definitely pursue the opportunity to bring such a vehicle to our market in future, should it become available.’
Mr Hanley said many Australian drivers would continue to wait for a zero-emission, ‘load-carrying, trailer-towing, remote area, off-road, HiLux 4×4,’ but it was not yet possible with electric vehicle technology and could require hydrogen fuel-cells.
The Australian launch of Toyota’s first electric vehicle, the bZ4X SUV, will also be delayed by several months while its local arm waits for a larger share of vehicles with upgraded specifications.
Toyota’s electric car – the first of three due to launch over the next three years – had been due to arrive this year.
‘Rather than rush to market this year with a handful of cars, we decided to ensure our dealers have a reasonable level of stock, with the first cars rolling out of showrooms in February 2024,’ Mr Hanley said.
‘We expect to be able to deliver several thousand cars in 2024.’
Other Toyota vehicles on show in Melbourne included second-generation C-HR SUV hybrids expected to launch next year, and early versions of a HiLux ute and LandCruiser Prado with 48-Volt Technology that uses a battery and small generator to reduce fuel consumption.
The local launch of Toyota’s first fully electric vehicle will be delayed by months and is not expected to arrive until February next year. A woman is pictured driving a Toyota
The vehicles went on show after the federal government publicly released submissions to its fuel-efficiency standard consultation that showed widespread support for the change.
The standard, as recommended in the government’s National Electric Vehicle Strategy, would set a pollution cap on the vehicles car makers released in Australia in a bid to encourage the import of more low-emission models.