Hybrids & Electrics

The Toyota EVE Has Nissan Leaf and 4Runner Parents

When a vehicle loves another one, sometimes magic can happen. In this case, the Nissan Leaf and Toyota 4Runner came together to create the Toyota EVE. But this truck isn’t a baby. Thanks to its parents, the Toyota EVE is a beast! 

The Toyota EVE was built to rock crawl 

The Toyota EVE is a new beast that will tackle the 2021 King of The Hammers competition in the new EV-only category. According to Inside EVs, Kyle Seggelin is responsible for using the Nissan Leaf and Toyota 4Runner to create this truck. 

Kyle loves rock crawling, so of course, he enjoys this competition. However, in the beginning of 2021, the engine in his 1989 4Runner overheated. This created the perfect opportunity to craft a new electric pickup truck to compete in the King Of The Hammers. Seggelin has a creative edge for this by having a truck with swappable battery modules. 

There was no time to repair his 1989 4runner before the competition, so an alternative plan had to be made. Kyle quickly sold his pickup truck and got a 1986 Toyota 4Runner that Dave Cole and his Son Baily Cole raced in the Norra 1000 in Mexican and King Of The Hammers. 

The truck sat in a field for a few years before being converted into an EV. Kyle paid $4,000 for a Nissan Leaf that he converted into a donor to complete this process. The Nissan Leaf was mentioned as the nicest, newest vehicle he’s ever purchased. 

The King Of The Hammers Challenge 

The Nissan Leaf and 1986 4Runner were combined for the mission of winning the King Of The Hammers. Both of them were used to create the Toyota EVE or Electric Vehicle Experminet to compete in a challenge where charging isn’t an option. 

The King Of The Hammers is about a 90-mile loop with two pit stops for maintenance. The first stop is after 20 miles, and the second pit stop is at about 45 miles. Then there are another 20 miles to go before hitting the finish line. 

2021 Nissan Leaf on dark highway
2021 Nissan Leaf | Nissan

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There are sections that involve steep sandy hills, rock crawling, and long straight flats. But the 24 kWh battery pack from the Nissan Leaf won’t come anywhere close to providing enough juice. 

That’s why Kyle came up with a battery swapping method that uses rails placed on the truck’s bed to receive steel racks with the new batteries. The discharged batteries will be swapped out for charged ones at the pit stops. 

Did the EVE have enough juice? 

The Toyota EVE did have enough juice for the King Of The Hammers challenge. Kyle managed to finish in the first place, though merely crossing the finish line felt like an incredible victory. 

His truck crafted by parted from the Toyota 4Runner and Nissan Leaf was the first EV to cross the finish line. Using an additional 24 kWh battery pack from the 2019 Nissan Leaf with a 62 kWh helped make this win happen. The battery packs were charged with generators. 

The team included Kyle’s sister, Dahlia Seggelin, and a few of his friends including, Will Barrameda, Jaymes Massa, and Jeff Webb. They each got to celebrate after with a huge trophy to show off.