Toyota says it’s considering bringing an all-electric version of its popular Land Cruiser to consumers as it’s in the middle of a trial with a Land Cruiser converted to electric propulsion for a mining company.
Earlier this year, Toyota embarked on a project with BHP, a mining company with nickel operations in Australia, to convert a Land Cruiser 70 to run on a battery-electric powertrain and use it at its Nickel West mining project.
Edgar Basto, President Minerals Australia at BHP, commented on the project:
This partnership is another step in our ongoing studies into how we can reduce the emissions intensity of our light vehicle fleet. It builds on other LEV trials under way in South Australia and Queensland. Reducing our reliance on diesel at our operations will help achieve our medium-term target of reducing operational emissions by 30% by 2030.
President and CEO of Toyota Australia, Matthew Callachor, said the trial is another step Toyota is taking as part of its bigger picture of a zero-emissions future:
BHP and Toyota have demonstrated a strong relationship throughout the last 20 years, and this project is a great testament to how we can both work together as leading companies in our respective industries to change the future.
The project started a few months ago, and now BHP is using the electric Land Cruiser, pictured above.
Toyota Australia’s general manager of product planning and development, Rod Ferguson, commented on the trial to CarsGuide and said that it might lead to an actual consumer version of an electric Land Cruiser:
We’ve delivered one vehicle so far to BHP as far as a pilot and testing project. And part of that is co-development – they’re interested in emissions reduction, vibration reduction, they want to see how the range works, and how it works with a daily load. So we can get feedback to level up, with the intention of at some point, timing not known… to do something more for more customers.
The executive confirmed that it’s a possibility that customers would be able to get an all-electric Land Cruiser at their local Toyota dealership in the future without a clear timeline.
The Land Cruiser has a very strong reputation for its reliability and off-roading capacity. It would be a big deal for Toyota to electrify the program. But like anything having to do with battery-electric vehicles at Toyota, we won’t be holding our breath.
In this case, it’s not only a conversion, but they’re even working with a third party for the conversion.
Therefore, Toyota is not putting a lot of engineering work into this trial program.
Nonetheless, it’s cool to hear them being more open to battery-electric vehicles these days.
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