Electric Toyota HiLux conversions in Australia due mid-year, 500 orders

Electric Toyota HiLux conversions in Australia due mid-year, 500 orders

A new factory in Melbourne will become the production base for converting the Toyota HiLux to battery electric drive.

Production of Australia’s first battery-electric Toyota HiLux is set to begin 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 claims it already has orders for 500 vehicles and that there will be enough demand to meet its first-year production target of 1,000 HiLux-Utes.

Conversion costs are estimated to be between $48,000 and $60,000 – in addition to the cost of the original “donor” Toyota HiLux, bringing the total price to over $100,000 per vehicle.

Roev says most of his confirmed orders are from commercial fleet companies, but a surprising number are to convert HiLuxs that are several years old.

“We are on track to complete it. Our hope is to get more than 1000 per year and increase it. We’re aiming for 12 months and making it 1000,” said Roev CEO and co-founder Noah Wasmer Drive.

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

“We’ll do it down in Epping in Melbourne. We’ve been looking at a few different sites and will be announcing some progress on utilizing a new facility,” said Mr. Wasmer drive.

“We’ve started moving much of our testing and development down (Melbourne) over the last month.

“Getting the first orders in the door shows us where they are coming from. Most orders come from the east coast, ie Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. They also come from the West (Western Australia). So when we get enough of that, we will build a production facility there.”

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

He said Roev is now considering its battery-electric conversion as a kit, meaning it’s easier to install and could lead to a number of manufacturing sites.

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

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

Mr Wasmer also said Roev is getting into development of a Ford Ranger conversion.

“We want to release the HiLux and then the Ranger will be our next release. We have some in the early stages of development,” said Mr. Wasmer.

“We’ve definitely been working on it. We have to make sure that all the electrics in the car are fully integrated with our electronics.

“We’re focused on the first orders for HiLux, but it’s the same hardware kit and the software integration changes (between vehicles).”

He confirmed 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. Dollar. Aside from new paraphernalia, the conversion will also be suitable for some older HiLuxes.

“We go back to HiLux 2016; that’s mostly about 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 want to get another four to five years out of a vehicle.

“If they’re spending $800-$1,000 a month on gas or diesel, they could (with a switch) break even in about 48 months.”

Mr. Walsmer tells drive The latest series of tests for the Roev HiLux indicated a claimed electric range that works for most small fleet companies.

“We’ve worked very closely with fleets to ensure the vehicles exceed expectations,” he said.

“We see that 90 to 95 percent of our user cases travel less than 50 kilometers per day.

“With our smaller backpack we can cover 250 to 300 kilometers and with the larger one 400.

“Right now we’re testing with different shells and kits to get real-world information.”

Paul Gover

Paul Gover has been a motoring journalist for more than 40 years and has worked for newspapers, magazines, websites, radio and television. A qualified general news journalist and sports reporter, his passion for driving has taken him to Wheels, Motor, Car Australia, Which Car and Auto Action magazines. He is a champion racer as well as a World Car of the Year judge.

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