A key element in the decarbonisation plans of Toyota will be the introduction of a hybrid electric Hilux in early 2024.

Toyota New Zealand has set itself a target to reduce the tailpipe carbon dioxide emissions of its portfolio of cars, utes and vans by a minimum of 46% by 2030.

While the company is on track to meet this science-based Target, Toyota says the introduction of an electrified diesel hybrid Hilux into the range will significantly move the dial to reach the target and meet the needs of Hilux drivers across the country.

Toyota New Zealand Chief Executive, Neeraj Lala, says while he can’t reveal too many details of the hybrid Hilux just yet, it will have a significant impact in the New Zealand ute scene, the largest segment of the local car and light commercial market.

“Toyota is transitioning from a traditional automaker to a mobility company focused on sustainable technologies and transport. The hybrid Hilux will be an important addition to our range and will enable many tradies, farmers, and businesses to reduce their carbon footprints,” he says.

“We have maintained for a long time, that hybrid technology is the best solution to decarbonisation until fully battery electric technology is both available and affordable. Our ambition is to offer a fully electric Hilux, however, until that is available, hybrid remains the best technology and will only drive our overall emissions down further.

“We need to make sure no one is left behind in the transition to an electrified future. For this reason, we are truly excited at the prospect of presenting a hybrid Hilux to our customers as we continue to decarbonise the great kiwi lifestyle.”

Neeraj adds that Toyota is applying circularity to its value chain and is committed to repurposing or recycling end of life parts from its vehicles, including batteries.

The new Hybrid Hilux

Toyota’s hybrid technology will be combined with the 2.8-litre turbo diesel engine and six-speed automatic transmission and comprises an additional 48V battery, electric motor-generator, and other components.

In addition to delivering improved fuel economy, Toyota claims the hybrid system will also enable a stop/start system, improved off-road driveability and reduced noise, vibration, and harshness.

The addition of the hybrid technology will not have any impact on the capability of the Hilux with the 4×4 models maintaining the abilities of the current model including 3,500kg braked towing capacity. Tow bars are added to 98% of new Hilux sold, so towing capacity will be an important consideration for hybrid Hilux buyers. Further information on the new hybrid Hilux specifications and performance will be available closer to the launch.

Toyota New Zealand expects the first hybrid Hilux units will be available for customer delivery in the first quarter of 2024. 

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How on earth to start this? I've been car/bike/truck crazy since I was a teen. Like John, I had the obligatory Countach poster on the wall. I guess I'm more officially into classic and muscle cars than anything else - I currently have a '65 Sunbeam Tiger that left the factory the same day as I left the hospital as a newborn with my mother. How could I not buy that car? In 2016 my wife and I drove across the USA in a brand-new Dodge Challenger, and then shipped it home. You can read more on www.usa2nz.co.nz. We did this again in 2019 in a 1990 Chev Corvette - you can read about that trip on DriveLife. I'm a driving instructor and an Observer for the Institute of Advanced Motorists - trying to do my bit to make our roads safer.

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