The Toyota Hilux BEV concept offers a glimpse into the iconic pickup’s split-green future | Jobs Reply

Toyota tried to dispel doubts about its EV commitment just over a year ago when it held a media briefing detailing its plans for a future battery electric vehicle (BEV). But that doesn’t mean it’s transitioning into an all-BEV brand anytime soon. It’s still pushing ahead with other sustainable powertrain technologies, and a pair of recently debuted Hilux concepts recap its versatile strategy. The Hilux Revo BEV concept pickup made its first appearance just days after Toyota announced its upcoming work on a hydrogen fuel cell Hilux prototype. Will the future of Toyota’s most popular global pickup include battery power, hydrogen or a combination of both?

Toyota didn’t reveal the Hilux Revo BEV at any major auto event or dedicated debut, instead showing a glimpse at Toyota Motor Thailand’s 60th anniversary celebrations this week. It was a quiet reveal, with no powertrain details given, but Toyota president Akio Toyoda used the occasion to reiterate the company’s multi-fuel carbon-cutting strategy during his speech.

“I often get criticized in the press because I won’t declare that the automotive industry should commit 100% to BEVs,” Toyoda admits. “I believe we need to be realistic about when society will be able to fully adopt battery electric vehicles and when our infrastructure will be able to support them at scale. Because just like the fully autonomous cars that we’re all supposed to be driving now, I think the media believes us.” It will take longer for BEVs to become mainstream than it wants to. And frankly, BEVs are not the only way to achieve the world’s carbon neutrality goals.”

“Personally, I would pursue not just one, but every option, such as emission-free synthetic fuels and hydrogen,” continued Toyoda. “I still believe that hydrogen is as promising a technology for our future as BEVs.”

Early rendering of the Hilux H2 fuel cell pickup made by Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK)
Early rendering of the Hilux H2 fuel cell pickup made by Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK)

Toyota Motor Corporation

Toyota then touched on plans to continue to explore and offer a variety of powertrain solutions including battery electrics, hybrids, hydrogen combustion engines and fuel cells. His words come on the back of recent announcements about the hydrogen-engined Cross Corolla and fuel cell Hilux prototypes. The latter is being assembled by Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK with funding from the UK’s Advanced Propulsion Centre.

In collaboration with Toyota Motor Europe R&D and partners including Ricardo and European Thermodynamics, Toyota UK intends to adapt the components of the second-generation fuel cell powertrain featured in the Mirai. It will build the Hilux H2 prototype in 2023 and expects to send it to small series production after successful testing and verification.

Toyota's planned Hilux H2 layout
Toyota’s planned Hilux H2 layout

Toyota Motor Corporation

The Toyota Hilux remains tight-lipped about the Revo BEV, but we can see it wearing a wicked rear wing above the rear of the bed, at least for a bit of celebratory conceptual flair. Toyota chose the Thai event for a sneak preview as a nod to the role Toyota Motor Thailand played in developing the global IMV platform and Hilux Vigo in the early 2000s, a cornerstone of the company’s globalization efforts at the time.

Toyoda unveiled the Revo concept alongside another truck concept called the IMV 0, which it pitches as an affordable truck meant to “support economic growth and mobility for all”. It designed the small, compact IMV 0 truck concept after careful observation of potential buyers’ needs and lifestyles, and said the official launch is more than a year away.

The IMV 0 concept on the viewer's left represents a vision for a small, utility truck tailored to the needs of Asian buyers.
The IMV 0 concept on the viewer’s left represents a vision for a small, utility truck tailored to the needs of Asian buyers.

Toyota Motor Corporation

The Hilux BEV Revo is described as being at the opposite end of the automotive spectrum from the IMV 0, designed for a different customer with different needs. This isn’t the first electric pickup concept where Toyota has flashed a quick look. At last year’s BEV briefing, Toyota revealed a rugged EV pickup (minus the random wings) among more than a dozen electric design studies that served as the backdrop for the announcement of plans to launch 30 new BEV models by 2030.

We’ll see how many hydrogen-fueled models join those BEVs by the end of the decade, and where the Hilux fits into the puzzle.

Source: Toyota, Toyota Europe

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