The zero-emissions 70 Series is being trialed in Australia.
The Toyota Land Cruiser 300 Series is already on the horizon, although it sadly won't be sold in North America. However, a much older Land Cruiser - the bulletproof 70 Series - is still enjoying an extended production run in the Australian market. Its 4.5-liter turbodiesel V8 engine with 202 horsepower is hardly the stuff of eco-warriors' dreams, but in a surprising move, Toyota Australia has collaborated with a major resources company called BHP to convert the Land Cruiser 70 into a fully electric vehicle. The Light Electric Vehicle (LEV) trial explores how both companies can reduce their emissions.
Not many vehicles introduced in the mid-1980s are considered to be well-suited to an EV conversion, which makes the trial all the more impressive. "Reducing our reliance on diesel at our operations will help achieve our medium-term target of reducing operational emissions by 30 percent in 2030," said Edgar Basto, President of Minerals Australia, BHP.
Toyota Australia's President and CEO, Matthew Callachor, shares similar sentiments as the company moves to a zero-emissions future. "This project is a great testament to how we can both work together as leading companies in our respective industries to change the future," he said.
The LEV trial is being conducted at BHP's Nickel West operations, and is one of several other BHP trials taking place in South Australia and Queensland. The team expects to see a welcome reduction in both maintenance and fuel costs. While an electric Land Cruiser truck is intriguing news, Toyota is making headway in EV development in much smaller segments as well, following the launch of the diminutive C+pod last month. Along with progress made on the brand's solid-state battery, it's hard to deny that the gas engine's heyday is coming to an end. After all, if the mighty Land Cruiser 70 doesn't need gas running through its veins, what does?