As emissions regulations tighten and consumers want more choices, a Toyota Tacoma and Tundra BEV, plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) trucks are being considered.

This consideration was confirmed by Jack Hollis, executive vice president of Toyota Motor North America.

“I do think there’s room to grow our entire truck footprint. Whether it be Tundra, Tacoma or something else in addition to the lineup,” Hollis said Tuesday during the New York Auto Forum conference, according to a CNBC news story. “Whether that’s a compact or something else, I think it’s important for us to continue to see what the customers are looking for.”

Also, Toyota’s Thailand president told Reuters they will produce a BEV of its small Hilux pickup for the global market. 

What would a Toyota Tacoma and Tundra BEV or PHEV be like?

It doesn’t require much speculation to know a quiet, smooth and powerful truck with good range for a realistic price would be the target for building a Toyota Tacoma and Tundra BEV or PHEV.

Those attributes are what customers have been asking for before they drop a gas engine with faster fill-up times, better range and a cheaper price. 

Toyota has the means to do this. The Prius rocked the industry with its technology more than a decade ago and the RAV4 Prime is one of the best plug-in hybrids on the market. 

The PHEV part of this idea would be easy then if Toyota would simply take the RAV4 Prime and merge it with the trucks. It would just be a matter of dialing in the ride quality and alerting the power delivery for the duty cycle truck owners need.

A Toyota Tacoma and Tundra BEV would be the harder one of the two. This would require a complete rethinking of the chassis for both trucks as well as finding an assembly plant. Electric and gas vehicles are built completely differently, and it is hard to see them running down the same assembly line.

The last question of price is hard to say thanks to the major fluctuations we’ve seen in the raw material costs for the batteries.

The bottom line

Build what customers want? That’s a novel idea. The idea of a PHEV Tacoma has been talked about in various forums and fan groups for years. I think that would be a good option for daily commuters who want electric power for that part of the trip and gas when taking a longer trip. 

A Tundra PHEV, however, is harder to see due to the sheer weight and size differences between it and the Tacoma. 

Finally, a Toyota Tacoma and Tundra BEV are even harder to see with current EV demand slowing and the amount of research and development costs associated with EVs.

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