Toyota to test new electric pickup truck as taxis in Thailand: Report

Updated Nov 06, 2023 | Same topic: Automotive Industry Updates

A demo fleet of what could be the Hilux Revo will be fielded in the Land of Smiles.

Toyota is set to test a fleet of new electric pickup trucks that will be used as taxis in Pattaya, Thailand next year. However, the Japanese automaker did not state the exact model name of the electric pickup truck that will be up for testing in Pattaya.  

Toyota Hilux Revo BEV concept share taxiToyota Hilux Revo BEV concept share taxi

In a report by Reuters, Toyota Daihatsu Engineering & Manufacturing executive vice president Pras Ganesh said that the car brand will be fielding a small fleet of battery electric pickup trucks in Pattaya, Thailand early next year. Ganesh added that the electric pickups would be tested for use as 'songthaews', a type of passenger vehicle in countries such as Thailand. 

To put things in perspective, songthaew’s seating configuration is somewhat similar to the Philippine jeepneys. It comes with two long bench seats wherein passengers are facing each other. In the case of the songthaew, it uses a pickup truck as the base vehicle, and the truck’s bed is where the bench seats are placed.  

Ganesh also shared that Toyota’s engineers are working on “adapting its electric pickups” to road conditions in Thailand. Furthermore, the Japanese automaker is said to be building an electric vehicle (EV) research & development facility in the Land of Smiles.  

Toyota Hilux Revo BEV conceptToyota Hilux BEV concept

The Toyota executive did not specify as to what electric pickup model will be fielded and tested in Pattaya. But, Toyota did confirm last month that its Thailand team will develop a “demonstration fleet” of all-electric Hilux share taxis. 

Toyota Thailand built the all-electric Hilux pickup truck as a proving ground to electrify the car brand’s commercial vehicles. The Japanese automaker also said that Toyota Thailand will build a demo fleet of Hilux-based electric share taxis for its domestic market. 

Toyota Hilux Revo BEV conceptWelcome to Pattaya

A testament to that is the render images that show the electric Hilux or the Hilux Revo BEV concept with a songthaew configuration. The images that surfaced last month can also confirm the statement that Ganesh said since the rear-end of the image has a text that reads “Welcome to Pattaya.” 

Interestingly, Toyota is making similar efforts in consideration of the Philippine market. Toyota previewed two IMV 0 concepts during its 35th-anniversary celebration in the Philippines. One of the vehicles shown at the said event is the next-generation Tamaraw concept guise as a modern jeepney.  

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Know more about Toyota Hilux 2024

Toyota Hilux

The Toyota Hilux 2024 is a midsize pickup offered in the local market as both fleet and regular units. Toyota Hilux Prices Philippines range from PHP 879,000 to PHP 2,166,000 with 13 variants, spanning from the basic cab & chassis 4x2 model to the range-topping GR Sport 4x4. It is also available in two turbodiesel engine options and four gearbox choices, accompanied by eight exterior colors. Dimensions start at 5,285mm in height, 1,800mm in width, and 1,700mm in height, with a wheelbase of 3,085mm. Among the rivals to the Toyota Hilux in the market are the Mitsubishi Strada, Nissan Navara, Ford Ranger, and the Isuzu D-Max.

This popular pickup continues to evolve and slowly move upmarket after gaining luxuries. The most significant revolutionary jump of the Hilux happened in 2004 when the seventh generation of the model was introduced. It was the first 21st-century iteration of Toyota's pickup. It is also the first generation to ride on Toyota’s new Innovative Multi-purpose Vehicle architecture. It provided improved safety, better ride comfort, modern D-4D diesel engines, more interior space, and a more modern aerodynamic body.

The current 8th generation offers a more refined and stylish design than its predecessor, but the tradition of being a tough pickup continues. It received a much-awaited refresh in 2020. 

₱ 879,000 - ₱ 2,166,000