Pioneering Australian Companies Convert Iconic Toyota HiLux Utes into Eco-Friendly EVs

In a groundbreaking move, two Australian conversion companies are shaking up the nation's market by electrifying the iconic Toyota HiLux utes. Despite the surging demand for electric vehicles, none of Australia's top-selling utes currently offer a factory-made electric option, leaving the door open for these enterprising firms to lead the charge.

Roev, founded by Atlassian executives Noah Wasmer, Paul Slade, and Robert Dietz, is at the forefront of this electrifying transformation. With the ambitious goal of converting over 1000 diesel HiLuxes into electric versions within a year, Roev is gearing up to set a new standard in sustainable transportation. These electrified HiLuxes are expected to hit the roads as early as February 2024.

CarBon, a Perth-based electric vehicle leasing, rental, and subscription company, is jumping on the green bandwagon by reserving more than half of Roev's electrified HiLuxes. Their plan is to cater to commercial fleet operators eagerly seeking to transition to zero-emissions transport. CarBon is even considering a pilot program in Western Australia's mineral-rich Pilbara region, where resource companies are poised to integrate these electric workhorses into their operations.

Mr. Wasmer, co-founder of Roev, highlighted the soaring demand for light commercial EVs in Australia, especially in the fleet market, where businesses are racing to decarbonize their operations. The electrified HiLuxes come equipped with either a 64kWh battery, offering a 240km range, or a 96kWh battery, extending the range to an impressive 360km. These vehicles boast the capability of being charged at 80kW DC or 11kW AC, in addition to having V2L capability and regenerative braking. They are available in both 4x2 and 4x4 variants, making them versatile for various needs.

The conversion process involves replacing the diesel engine and running gear with the advanced battery system, making the electrified HiLuxes environmentally friendly and cost-efficient. The anticipated conversion costs range from $47,990 to $57,990.

Roev is not alone in this electrifying endeavor. MEVCO, another Australian-based company, has embarked on an audacious project to convert around 8500 new or near-new HiLux and LandCruiser diesels into zero-tailpipe-emissions electric cars over the next five years. To achieve this, MEVCO has partnered with SEA Electric, a globally renowned electric commercial vehicle converter. SEA Electric's expertise in fitting its proprietary electric drivetrain to these workhorses has earned them an esteemed reputation.

The Australian mining sector has warmly embraced the transition to electric workhorses, with major companies, such as Mineral Resources, already placing orders for thousands of electrified HiLuxes. These resource giants, focused on mining lithium and nickel for export into EV battery materials, are eager to embrace eco-friendly solutions for their demanding operations.

As the private sector accelerates the electrification of workhorses, traditional automakers are also recognizing the need for change. Toyota Australia has confirmed plans to introduce 48-volt mild-hybrid technology in the HiLux diesel by the first half of 2024, promising 10% better fuel efficiency.

 Amidst Australia's slow adoption of factory-original electric utes, these innovative conversions are spearheading the nation's eco-friendly transformation. With the electrified HiLuxes paving the way for sustainable transportation, Australia's workhorse market is in for an electrifying revolution.



Source: Car Expert