Toyota HiLux electric conversions due in Australia mid-year, 500 ordered

A new factory in Melbourne will become the production base for the conversion of the Toyota HiLux to battery electric power.

Production of Australia’s first electric battery Toyota HiLux is scheduled to start on June 1, 2023 when tech start-up Roev begins conversion work on Australia’s best-selling ute at a new factory in Melbourne.

Roev says it already has orders for 500 vehicles and says it will have enough demand to meet its first-year production target of 1,000 HiLux utes.

The conversion cost is estimated to be between $48,000 and $60,000, on top of the cost of the original ‘donor’ Toyota HiLux, bringing the total price to over $100,000 per vehicle.

Roev says most of its confirmed orders are from commercial fleet companies, but a surprising number are for converting HiLuxes that are several years old.

“We are on our way to achieving it. Our hope is to get over 1000 a year and grow that. Our goal is 12 months and do 1,000,” said Roev CEO and co-founder Noah Wasmer. Handle.

The executive revealed that Roev has moved its production site from the company’s Queensland headquarters to the state of Victoria, as well as possible plans for an assembly site in Western Australia.

“We are going to do it in Epping in Melbourne. We’ve been looking at a couple of different sites and we’re going to announce some progress using a new facility,” Mr. Wasmer said. Handle.

“We’ve started moving a lot of our test and development there (Melbourne) in the last month or so.

“Getting the first orders at the door shows us where they come from. Most of the orders come from the East Coast such as Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. They also come from the west (Western Australia) so if we get enough from there we will build a manufacturing site there.”

Roev is a start-up and announced its plan to electrify the HiLux last year, but Mr. Wasmer revealed that some of the initial details had changed as the company transitioned from test and development to production.

He said Roev was now looking at its battery-electric conversion as a kit, meaning it will be easier to install and could lead to several production sites.

“Our goal was standardization. So that all components fit together neatly and firmly. We can build the kits and then install them in less than a day,” Mr. Wasmer said.

“We removed the existing engine, fuel tank and exhaust. Then we assemble our battery, motor and electronics.”

Wasmer also said that Roev is moving towards developing a Ford Ranger conversion.

“We are looking to get the HiLux out and then the Ranger will be our next release. We have some in early development,” Wasmer said.

“We are certainly working on it. We need to make sure that all the electricals in the car are fully integrated with our electronics.

“We are focused on the first HiLux orders, but it is the same hardware kit and it is the software integration that changes (between vehicles).”

He confirmed that there will be two conversion kits for the HiLux, a 4×2 system with a 64kWh battery priced at $47,990 and a 4×4 package with a 96kWh battery priced at $57,990. Other than new utes the conversion will be suitable for some older HiLuxes.

“We return to HiLux 2016; that is largely due to software integration,” he said.

“Most of our customers come with vehicles that are two or three years old. That surprised us, but it makes sense. They are looking to get another four or five years out of a vehicle.

“If they spend between $800 and $1,000 a month on gasoline or diesel, they could break even (with a conversion) in about 48 months.”

walsmer said Handle the latest series of tests for the Roev HiLux pointed to a claimed electric range that works for most small fleet companies.

“We have been working very closely with the fleets to ensure that the vehicles exceed expectations,” he said.

“We are seeing 90 to 95 percent of our user cases are less than 50 kilometers per day.

“With our smallest package we cover 250 to 300 kilometers, and with the largest package we can reach 400.

“Right now we are testing with different trays and kits to get real world information.”

paul governor

Paul Gover has been an automotive journalist for over 40 years, working for newspapers, magazines, websites, radio and television. A qualified general news journalist and sports reporter, his passion for motoring led him to Wheels, Motor, Car Australia, Which Car and Auto Action magazines. He is a champion racing driver as well as a World Car of the Year judge.

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