It's happening: Toyota is serious about building an electric ute
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Earlier this week, Toyota used the Shanghai Auto Show to reveal its bold plans around bringing a range of electric vehicles to the international market under the 'Beyond Zero' badge.
While the BZ4X was the only electric vehicle shown at the event, there was plenty of talk around what we can expect to see on the electric front from Toyota in the coming years, including 'greener' utes.
Out of the 15 upcoming electric models, Toyota made sure to mention plans to “bring electrification to the pickup truck lineup in the near future, including hybrid and BEV powertrains.”
Toyota has previously mentioned that the next-generation Hilux would share a platform with the new Tundra and Tacoma, so we can imagine that the electrification tech would carry over from those American models.
We'd be surprised to see an electric Hilux unveiled alongside its American brethren, but with emissions restrictions tightening internationally, it's a matter of time before it happens.
Toyota New Zealand CEO Neeraj Lala revealed that a hybrid Hilux was expected to be part of the move that sees every Toyota model get some form of electrification.
“We expect this trend to continue and even expand into commercials. We hope to have Hilux hybrid enter the market before the end of next year,” Lala said.
In recent times, the Hilux managed to retain its spot as New Zealand's best-selling ute, so bringing out a hybrid version could only increase demand in the eco-friendly age.
We'd be surprised if Toyota was the only brand committing itself to a hybrid ute, as Ford seems to be on the cusp of releasing an all-electric F-150 over in America. Considering that we're probably due a new Ranger sometime soon, it'd only make sense to see that technology make its way into the Kiwi favourite.