After Hybrid and Hydrogen, Toyota Hilux Pickup Truck to go Battery-Electric

Toyota Hilux is the brand's most sought-after pickup truck in the world

Toyota Hilux, one of the top-selling pickup trucks worldwide, holds significant importance in Toyota’s strategy. So, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the brand introduced an electric variant of the Hilux in the near future. From the recent developments, it seems like Toyota is going to do just that soon enough.

Toyota’s Thailand president said the company aims to mass-produce a battery-electric Hilux by the end of 2025, reports Reuters. The decision for an electric Hilux came after Toyota’s rival Isuzu said it would unveil its first electric truck later this month.

Toyota introduced the first "electrified" Hilux Hybrid 48V model with a 2.8L diesel engine. (Source: Toyota)

Electric Toyota Hilux is on the Horizon

Last December, Toyota introduced the first “electrified” Hilux Hybrid 48V model, which still included a 2.8L diesel engine. Regardless, the update resulted in a minor 5% increase in fuel efficiency.

Additionally, Toyota introduced a hydrogen fuel cell-powered Hilux prototype last year. However, there’s a question about whether we’ll ever witness the release of a battery-electric Toyota Hilux pickup.

Now, even though the Japanese automaker has been hesitant, Toyota plans to reveal an electric Hilux model. Addressing reporters at the Bangkok International Motor Show, Noriaki Yamashita, president of Toyota Thailand, mentioned that the Hilux EV might be ready by the end of 2025. However, he didn’t provide any details about the production site of the vehicle.

Toyota holds around 30 per cent of the pickup segment in Europe. (Source: Toyota)

Electric Hilux Not Exclusive to Thailand

Toyota Hilux is a popular pickup truck in Thailand. However, it is not the only significant market for the Hilux.

Toyota holds around 30 per cent of the pickup segment in Europe. Emmanuel Beaune, who leads Toyota’s commercial vehicle division in Europe, recently shared that the company has received inquiries regarding an electric pickup.

He noted that Toyota is exploring the option of introducing an electric Hilux in the European market. But he did not confirm the arrival of such a vehicle. However, he made it clear that even as Toyota explores electric powertrains, the company aims to offer buyers various powertrain options through a “multi-pathway approach.”

Toyota expects to sell 250,000 cars in Thailand in 2024. (Source: Toyota)

Preparing for EV Competition

Despite the rapid growth of electric vehicles (EVs) in the region, Toyota expects to sell 250,000 cars in Thailand this year. Notably, one-third of Thailand’s auto sales come from Toyota. However, EV adoption is on the rise. Further, by the decade’s end, Thailand plans to have 30% of cars made in the country be electric.

Toyota’s announcement of the electric Hilux came after Isuzu revealed plans to produce an electric variant of its top-selling D-MAX pickup. Moreover, last year, China’s BYD was the top-selling electric car brand in Thailand.

Therefore, it’s possible that competition from Isuzu and Chinese automakers encouraged Toyota to roll out the electric pickup truck..