Many in the media have ripped into Toyota for being slow to dive into electric cars. That’s about to change in a big way. The Japanese company recently revealed an onslaught of new Toyota and Lexus EV concepts. One that caught our eye, tucked in the back corner, was the so-called Pickup EV. It’s our first look at Toyota’s promised electric truck plans, and it shows there’s reason to be excited.
Here's what we know so far about Toyota's first electric pickup truck.
Electric trucks we’ve seen so far, from the GMC Hummer EV SUT to the Ford F-150 Lightning and the Bollinger B2 have shared a common trait: they are massive. Even the more adventurous Rivian R1T sidles the boundary between midsize and full-size trucks. Toyota’s Pickup EV, at least judging from pictures, looks smaller. It has a sporty demeanor and a relatively compact-looking bed and cabin.
We don’t know what Toyota is going to call this truck yet, and we don’t know whether the next-generation Tacoma will offer an electric variant. But if Toyota did announce it was building an electric Tacoma, it would be hard for a truck to look more like one than this. Sure, the styling has a bit of Tundra in it...but so will the next-gen Tacoma.
EV pickups have skewed toward off-road capability thus far. Off-roaders are super trendy, and EV trucks — with a lower center of gravity and a ton of instant torque — are well-suited for it. Toyota almost certainly will take an electric pickup truck in that direction.
Toyota's Pickup EV truck is fitted with chunky off-road tires. And we bet the white paint that shouts "TRD Pro" to enthusiasts isn't coincidental.
Toyota announced plans to launch 15 battery electric vehicles by 2025. We can expect the pickup to be in the vanguard of that movement. We don’t know how far along Toyota is on electric powertrain development, but the exterior design looks close to production-ready — Toyota showed us a similar top-secret mockup of the Tundra a few months before the official debut.
Car and Driver is speculating that Toyota could release some more info sometime within the next year. Here's hoping they're right.
The aging family hauler is about to get updated — and more rugged.