Efficient 4×4? Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series, Prado and HiLux diesel-hybrid SUVs and utes could be fast tracked as electric car EV uptake accelerates

Toyota’s plan to bring a diesel-electric hybrid LandCruiser to Australia could be fast tracked as the uptake of electric vehicles accelerates locally, a senior executive has told CarsGuide.

Speaking at the launch of the new Corolla Cross, Toyota Australia’s vice president of sales and marketing Sean Hanley said that while the company had committed to electrifying all of its models by 2030, that could happen much sooner, and this includes the LandCruiser, Prado and HiLux.

“Toyota has made an aspirational plan where we want to have some sort of electrification across all our models in Australia by 2030 – except for the GR performance models,” Mr Hanley said.

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“It makes sense that the LandCruiser, the Prado, the HiLux and other commercial vehicles are going to have to adopt some sort of electrification as we get closer to that point. And when we say by 2030, I don’t want people to interpret that as 2029 and 2030. On the journey to 2030 we’ll start making those arrangements.

“Acceleration of electrification right now is clear in this market – we’re seeing it. And as an agile company we need to be adaptable to those requirements.”

Electric vehicle sales are up a whopping 492.4 per cent year on year with 23,869 registrations in 2022 to the end of October – and this is during a time of short supply of vehicles due to the lack of semiconductors worldwide.

Those figures don’t include the sales of hybrid (66,175) or plug-in hybrid cars (5,048) either.

Details are scarce on the upcoming diesel-electric LandCruiser, but Japanese media is reporting one will be coming to the range soon.

Toyota has committed to electrifying all of its models by 2030. Toyota has committed to electrifying all of its models by 2030.

We also know that a hybrid powertrain that makes use of a diesel engine is being considered by Toyota Australia with the brand’s general manager Rod Ferguson telling CarsGuide last year that the combination would be preferable for many Australians.

“We know that some people are particularly wedded to diesel. Some farmers, for example, store diesel on their property, or it’s more accessible, or you’re in a region where you can’t have petrol,” he said

What the people want will determine the course forward, said Mr Hanley, even more so than emissions mandates which will inevitably come into place here in Australia. The expectation from the public couldn’t be ignored, he said – the survival of the company’s future depends on it.

Toyota is considering a hybrid-diesel Landcruiser. Toyota is considering a hybrid-diesel Landcruiser.

“We have mandated emissions targets in front of us at some point – none of us are sure when but I think it’s safe to say it’s coming and so therefore we need to be prepared and ready to make those changes to our product offering.

“But in the end, the quiet voice which doesn’t get a lot of airplay and I’m hearing it, says the community expectation of any company – particularly a car company with emissions as any car company has – they saying: ‘hey , you need to do something about it’.

“And that weight is a whole lot heavier than mandates. The expectation is: you will act. And if you don’t you won’t survive.”