Is a Toyota EV Truck Just around the Corner?

Jackson Wheeler
7 Min Read

  • Toyota brings the Hilux REVO BEV Concept to Australia for testing, ahead of a possible market launch in the future.
  • The Hilux REVO BEV Concept was built by engineers at Toyota Thailand, where the gas- and diesel-powered Hilux trucks are produced, as a one-off using Toyota EV components.
  • The automaker previewed an electric Tacoma in 2021, but has not indicated when North America could see such a model arrive in production form.

All eyes this fall are on the Cybertruck, as Tesla prepares to start production of its long-delayed electric pickup. But Toyota isn’t ignoring this segment either, even if remains a bit of an EV skeptic.

Earlier this month the Japanese automaker commenced testing of the Hilux BEV Revo Concept in Australia, after the concept’s debut in December 2022. The latest round of trials with industry partners and local engineers is thought to have been a method of testing the waters with dealers and fleets, ahead of production launch of a similar model down the road.

The Hilux BEV Revo Concept itself is based on the gas- and diesel-powered version of the truck produced in Thailand for the Australia and Oceania markets, and was built as a one-off. It maintains the looks of the production model, though it sports a closed-off grille and a charging port on the front left fender.

The truck itself is more of a ute than anything else (in keeping with the original Australian definition), with Toyota noting that Thailand is the “ute capital of the world,” with 145,000 Hilux sales in that country in 2022 alone. Australia a bit further back with 64,000 sales last year—enough to make it Australia’s best-selling vehicle.

“Our evaluation engineers and industry partners have confirmed that this city-focused HiLux BEV—while very much a concept vehicle—looks, feels and drives like a production model,” said Sean Hanley, Toyota Australia vice president of sales, marketing & franchise operations.

Could such a model be offered in the US at some point?

toyota hilux revo bev concept vehicle

The Hilux, equipped with gas and diesel engines, is produced in Thailand.


The Chicken Tax would certainly require that any electric truck model for the US be produced here as well, so a Hilux probably isn’t in the cards.

And if industry trends are any indication, a Tacoma or another model with a battery-electric drivetrain is something that would have to be engineered alongside the gasoline model, rather than being retrofitted with an EV drivetrain deep into a production cycle.

So if Toyota were to offer a midsize electric pickup in the US, it would have to be closely synced up with the debut of a next-gen truck model.

Toyota has already revealed a Tacoma EV pickup concept in 2021, while also indicating that such a model was in development, but did not offer timelines or specifics at the time.

But even during the Hilux REVO concept’s debut last year, Toyota president Akio Toyoda poured plenty of cold water on the chance of an immediate debut of an electric pickup from the automaker.

“I believe we need to be realistic about when society will be able to fully adopt Battery Electric Vehicles and when our infrastructure can support them at scale,” Toyoda said in 2022.

“Because just like the fully autonomous cars that we were all supposed to be driving by now, I think BEV’s are just going to take longer to become mainstream than the media would like us to believe. And frankly, BEV’s are not the only way to achieve the world’s carbon neutrality goals.”

a white car parked next to a blue car

Toyota has previewed what an electric Tacoma could look like, but has not laid out a timeline for its commercial launch in North America.


Given the realities and demands of truck owners in a number of crucial markets where Toyota is present, and given the rate of EV adoption in the US as a whole, we can’t disagree, even though Ford and GM offer EV trucks, and Ram will have one as well.

Of course, a vehicle like the Ford F-150 has already enjoyed best-seller status for four decades in the US, so the decision to field an electric version alongside ICE versions was an easier one for Ford to make a couple of years ago. The Tacoma does not have a similar status stateside.

If there is any cause for optimism, it’s the fact that the Tacoma is all-new for 2024, which suggests we could see an EV version of it relatively soon, certainly within this product cycle rather than the next. The electric Tacoma is also likely to be based solely on the four-door version of the pickup, paired with a short bed, in keeping with industry trends.

Whether we’ll see it as soon as late 2024 or early 2025 remains to be seen. But it’s worth noting that Toyota has committed to releasing 10 new EVs by 2026. So at least one of those models, we anticipate, could a pickup truck.

Will there be significant demand for an electric Tacoma if it arrives in 2024 or 2025, or are most Tacoma buyers still content with gas versions? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Headshot of Jay Ramey

Jay Ramey grew up around very strange European cars, and instead of seeking out something reliable and comfortable for his own personal use he has been drawn to the more adventurous side of the dependability spectrum. Despite being followed around by French cars for the past decade, he has somehow been able to avoid Citroën ownership, judging them too commonplace, and is currently looking at cars from the former Czechoslovakia. Jay has been with Autoweek since 2013. 

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Jackson Wheeler is a skilled editor at, specializing in automotive content. With a background in Journalism and Automotive Engineering, he combines his passion for cars with his writing expertise to deliver captivating articles. Jackson's deep knowledge of automotive technology and his racing experience make him a valuable asset to the team, providing readers with informative and engaging content.
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