Electric Toyota LandCruiser production increases
Australian made electric Toyota LandCruisers are proving to be easier to maintain and nicer to drive than the original diesel offering.
PRODUCTION OF LOCALLY made electric Toyota LandCruiser utes is ramping up following a successful trial in Australia.
The trial ‘eCruiser’ was produced by Western Australia-based EV specialist Voltra and used by mining conglomerate BHP at its Olympic Dam mine site in South Australia.
Voltra’s eCruiser is currently used as an underground and open-cut work vehicle, replacing the normal diesel-powered LandCruiser as an operations vehicle and bringing befits to health by reducing emissions and noise in enclosed spaces.
The vehicle is a typical 70 Series Cruiser but the engine is replaced with an electric motor and a rear-mounted battery pack that provides the energy. A spokesperson for Voltra said that the size of the battery pack was changeable depending on requirements, and that spec such as tow and payload capacity remain unchanged, with the car much more effortless to drive, particularly when hauling.
While the vehicle is available for public purchase, the eCruiser has so far only been used by commercial operations, the spokesperson adding that there is ‘no plan to compete with Tesla.’
Charging for the vehicle is via a Combined Charging System (CCS) that is compatible with 50 – 150kW fast charging units.
As first reported by International Mining, BHP chief transformation officer Jonathan Price said at the Resources Technology Showcase that the electric Toyota LandCruisers brought more than just reduced emissions, with increased efficiencies on-site due to lower maintenance needs and easier user operation.
“The Olympic Dam trial is providing us with valuable data and information to understand how we may continue to electrify different forms of transportation, and material movement in our operations,” he said.
“Early results indicate significantly reduced maintenance time, and very positive operator feedback on the vehicle – not only are they smooth to drive, they’re quiet – and with no diesel exhaust and dramatically reduced greenhouse gas emissions.”
“BHP is currently in the market for innovative power solutions for our Eastern Australia Mineral Assets. We have received a positive response from the market, consulting over 40 different parties.”