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Toyota Corolla is a vehicle known for being fuel-efficient, reliable, and retaining its resale value. It’s also a model that works well in vehicle transformations, like electric pickups. How is it built into a truck, and which company is doing it?

How are the used Corollas developed into EV pickups, and what are they used for?

A group of used Corollas.
Used Toyota Corollas | Getty Images

As of yet, very few electric pickups are on dealership lots, but that doesn’t mean that some people may not be able to get their hands on an EV truck. One company, Upcycle Green Technology, is building just such a pickup, except it’s taking used Corollas and transforming them into electric-based pickups. If you live in the Stratford area of Prince Edward Island in Canada, you have the chance of grabbing one of these Corolla transformations, according to The Drive

Natal Antonini, the founder and owner of Upcycle Green Technology, came from Brazil, where trucks like this were abundant. When he came to Prince Edward Island, through Canada’s provincial nominee program, there weren’t any of these creations around. So, he set out to build some himself. 

Taking a used Corolla, he revamped it with an electric powertrain and added a small truck bed, making this utility vehicle the perfect fit for business owners and merchants alike. The truck gets about a 93-mile range, but he figures it will cost about $2.50 worth of electricity to go 100 kilometers. 

Compared to a gasoline-powered vehicle going the same distance, it would cost you approximately $30 of fuel. Using a 26 kWh battery paired with an electric motor, you should be able to get up to 136 hp. It isn’t much, but for small business owners and merchants, a compact pickup like this would be a great solution, especially since gas prices are high. These trucks will only cost $35,000.

Why choose an EV

Electric vehicles were originally the answer to helping the environment by eliminating the harmful elements that gas-powered cars released into the air. But, recently, gas prices began to climb and are still in a pretty high range for most commuters. To help offset the cost of fuel, many drivers are turning to EVs instead. 

There are drawbacks to owning an electric car, though. These vehicles are expensive, parts and labor repairing it can cost quite a bit, and these cars can take a longer time charging up the battery than it does to refuel your vehicle with gas. However, tax incentives, savings on fuel at the pump, and the fact you don’t need to maintain the car as often help to alleviate those issues. 

EV production will be increasing, though, since most automakers have set goals to eliminate cars with combustible engines by around 2030. We’ll only have electric powertrain vehicles to choose from a few years down the line on dealership lots. 

Other electric pickup trucks 

Many automakers have electric trucks set to come out in the next few years, some are expected within the next year, and a few have already rolled out. You’ll find that some are model names you’re familiar with, while others are entirely new to the market. Either way, it’s expected to make some big splashes once they come off the production line. 

Ford recently released its F-150 Lightning, which is the brand’s electric-powered version of the truck that’s been around for quite some time. This pickup is expected to tow up to 10,000 lbs and should help reduce range anxiety with its Intelligent Range feature. 

Tesla’s Cybertruck was announced in 2019, but with problems plaguing the automaker, the production date was set back to 2023. Eager customers have been waiting for a while to see this one on the market, and hopefully, that will be real soon. 

The Atlas XT EV pickup, slated to arrive soon, is a truck from a startup company looking to offer the first heavy-duty electric pickup. Its XT model is reported to have a towing capacity of a whopping 35,000 lbs, which is amazing, if true. 

Repurposing used Corollas into compact electric pickups will help business owners keep making their trade without the need to go broke buying an expensive fleet of trucks. It also will help them save tons of money, fueling them up. As valuable as these pickups are, they aren’t going to be considerable competitors to the big-named automakers who have released EV trucks or will send some out soon. 


New Company Turns Old Toyota Corollas Into Tiny $35k Electric Pickup Trucks