Toyota Tiny EV Truck Looks Headed for America
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America’s love of pickup trucks and our similar apprehension regarding EVs appear headed for yet another crash course. A new Toyota electric truck concept, however, might have an ideal solution set to take U.S. roads by storm. Nothing’s been confirmed yet, but a small Toyota EV truck appeared at the Japan Mobility Show and there are some specific details that hint toward the Toyota EPU coming to America.
Toyota EPU Concept is a compact EV truck with American touches
Despite appearances at the Japan Mobility Show, the Toyota EPU Concept shows off several U.S.-ready touches and appears nearly ready for production. For one, the small Toyota EV pickup truck comes with left-hand drive. Japan is a right-drive country, so this truck’s left-side steering wheel indicates that it could be intended for the American market.
That alone is a good indicator that it’s aimed at the U.S., but that’s not all. The dual-pane digital dash is fully operational. Even better, Toyota showed it off with imperial units; MPH and miles versus Km/h and kilometers.
While most concept vehicles have wild styling options or interiors that have no chance of being produced, the Toyota EPU Concept looks remarkably ready for the road. The interior is almost fully resolved, except for the yoke-style steering wheel. Functional touches like USB-C ports appear on the dash. That’s unusual for futuristic concept cars, where ports and switches are left out in favor of an uncluttered look.
Toyota would be the first with a compact EV pickup truck in America
Should Toyota get the EPU Concept to the U.S. in the next calendar year, it would be the first brand with a compact EV pickup in America. That’s no small task, considering positive sales of Ford’s Maverick so far in its young lifespan. And while EV sales have hit a wall late in 2023, a lack of affordable options and adequate charging infrastructure are bigger hindrances than a lack of desirability.
A compact Toyota EV truck couldn’t fix charging headaches, but it could be an affordable option in America’s most popular vehicle segment. Critically, this concept is smaller than the Tacoma/Hilux EV Toyota is testing in Australia. And right now, the only electric pickup trucks on sale in America are the Ford F-150 Lightning and Rivain R1T. Both of these full-size, heavy pickups cost nearly six figures. A smaller Toyota electric truck could finally offer an affordable EV pickup solution for American drivers.
Moreover, should Toyota shove its hybrid tech into the EPU Concept, it would have a pair of attractive compact pickup truck options for the U.S. market. The 220-horsepower Prius Prime power plant, for example, would be an ideal choice for a Maverick-sized Toyota pickup truck. Meanwhile, the Toyota RAV4 Prime uses a 302-horsepower plug-in hybrid system and allows the midsize SUV to tow 2,500 pounds.
Will a Toyota electric pickup come to America?
The Japan Mobility Show kicks off officially on October 25th. So far, the Japanese brand isn’t saying anything about the EPU coming to the U.S. But given the America-focused details of the concept truck, we expect the Toyota electric pickup to come to America in the near future.