Toyota’s electric pickup fleet revs up Thai beaches

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

Toyota’s groundbreaking project in Pattaya showcases nine fully electric Hilux Revo pickup trucks revamped for public transport, marking a pivotal moment in Thailand’s automotive landscape.

Reflecting Japan’s determination to reclaim the electric vehicle (EV) market throne from Chinese rivals, this initiative aims to redefine urban transit in the Land of Smiles.

Surapoom Udomwong, Executive Vice President of Toyota Motor Thailand declared that this marks a significant milestone. The battery-powered Revo models transformed into local songtaews hit the streets. These electrified pickups, adorned with the Thai spirit of adaptability, promise a cleaner, greener future for public commuting.

Embarking on a motorcade through Chon Buri’s seaside expanse, these electric chariots signal a paradigm shift in Thailand’s automotive narrative. Amidst a landscape once dominated by Japanese giants like Toyota, Honda, and Isuzu, China’s EV invasion via lucrative subsidies and investments has stirred the competitive pot.

With Chery Automobile poised to join the fray, Toyota’s strategic move couldn’t be timelier. The iconic automaker, holding a significant stake in Thailand’s auto market, plans to electrify Pattaya’s transport scene with a dozen more electric pickups, setting the stage for a greener tomorrow.

Mayor Poramet Ngampichet of Pattaya hailed the initiative as a pivotal step towards curbing pollution in the bustling tourist hub, reported Bangkok Post.

With ambitions to electrify the city’s entire fleet of 700 songtaews, Toyota’s vision of mass-producing battery-powered Hilux pickups by 2025 takes a definitive stride towards reality.

In related news, Hyundai Mobility Thailand, the Korean automaker’s subsidiary, warns that this year’s EV sales in Thailand may fall short of the predicted 130,000 units. The company cites an ongoing price war amongst Chinese EV manufacturers as the primary obstacle, leading to unstable car prices and discouraging potential buyers.

In other news, Chinese companies have shown keen interest in the EV supply chain and energy sectors of the Smart Park Industrial Estate, situated in Rayong. This industrial estate is due to open by the end of the current year, according to the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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