We never thought there will come a time that the words Toyota Land Cruiser and electric will fill a headline, but here we are. To make things worse (or better), it's from an official Toyota press release, albeit, endemic to the Land Down Under.
Toyota Australia announces a partnership with BHP, Australia's leading resources company, to do a pilot trial of a converted electric vehicle. And yes, that conversion involves a Land Cruiser 70 Series. The trial is obviously small scale, limited to a single converted example that will be working at a mine site.
The single-cab Land Cruiser 70 Series was converted into a battery-electric vehicle by Toyota Australia's Product Planning and Development division in Port Melbourne, so yes, it's official. The converted workhorse BEV is equipped for underground mine use, with the trial happening at a BHP Nickel West mine in Western Australia.
In case you're wondering what this partnership is for, Toyota Austalia and BHP wants to explore reducing emissions further within their light-duty vehicle fleet. The two companies have been in a strong relationship for the last 20 years and the project is seen to strengthen their ties and demonstrate how they can work together to "change the future."
Of note, workhorses in many parts of the world are often powered by diesel, and if this trial will be successful, meaning the electric Land Cruiser is proven to be effective as a mining workhorse, it will reduce the reliance on diesel, ergo, help in achieving the companies' medium-term target of reducing operational emissions by 30 percent by 2030.
Expect more information from Toyota Australia regarding the results of the small-scale trial, probably paving the way for the introduction of EVs into the country's mining service fleets.