As the pre-election mudslinging ramps up between the two major political parties, Toyota have confirmed we will have an electric-powered HiLux within six years.
To lay the scene, Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor has said the opposition Labor government want to ‘end the weekend’, and leave ‘HiLux drivers stranded’, with their introduction of 50 percent electric vehicles by 2030. We’ll not get too involved with the statements of either side, especially as most are being said in an attempt to scare voters, however Toyota have poked more than a few holes in what the Liberal Minister has stated about the Labor government trying to kill the Aussie favourite, Toyota HiLux.
Toyota aims to sell some 5.5 million electric vehicles annually by 2030, and offer an electrified version of all its models by 2025. In a statement released by Toyota Australia, the company has confirmed they are on track to hit this target. The most important part, is that this includes the Toyota HiLux.
“Toyota has a global ambition of zero CO2 emissions from sites and vehicles by 2050 and Toyota Australia is part of that mission,” the statement said. Beyond the statement, we have no details on the electric HiLux, except that it is absolutely coming.
Despite the continual ‘naysayers’ on the electric vehicle front, technology is nevertheless pushing ahead, and moving away from fossil fuels. A great deal of interest has been shown recently in new technology ‘super-capacitors’ that will allow much faster charging, and recuperation of energy with regenerative braking.
Indeed, charging times are currently as low as eight minutes for some current-release EVs at power charging stations, which are becoming popular across the country’s coast (ABB and Tritium are two companies behind the super-fast chargers). Queensland itself has an Electric Super Highway with charging points every 200 or so kilometres all the way up the coast from Toowoomba to Cairns. At this stage, they offer up to 50kW chargers, which can recharge a vehicle within about an hour.
Still, to power the EVs, there remains the requirement for coal-fired power stations; however, renewable energy in the form of solar and wind turbines continues to grow every year.
On paper the idea sounds great, especially with the torque and power figures coming from manufacturers of electric vehicles, however we will have to wait and see if the industry can hit the fabled 1000km range mark before a lot of the naysayers will eat their hat.