Armen Hareyan's picture

Tacoma Owners Say What They Would Like To See in an Electric Tacoma

If you were a Toyota Tacoma owner and were offered an electric Tacoma, what would be the reason to refuse it: the range, the towing power or the lack of an engine sound when you race?

I asked this question if Toyota Tacoma drivers are ready to accept an electric Tacoma, should that be available one day. Here are some of the interesting responses people shared under my question at the Toyota Tacoma Enthusiasts FB group.. The general sentiment is openness, but but some improvements are necessary.

One comment writes that while there are hybrid trucks out there he doesn't think an all-electric Toyota Tacoma would be strong enough, but "hey, technology is advancing every day."

Engine Sound
"Its a good thing, but for my own selfish reasons, I'd prefer gas", writes another commenter. "I couldn't imagine how stupid I'd feel trying to race a vehicle with no engine sound. The engine making noise has a lot to do with the "intensity" (for lack of a better term) of driving. Without that, it would just be weird trying to drive aggressively with no sound other than tires," he adds.

Tow Capacity and Range
Few other people commented saying their concerns about the towing capacity and the EV range, when it comes to the possibility of having an EV Tacoma. The solution offered was to buy a Toyota Prius and a truck. One to save the planet and the other for work.

"I would be fine with an electric truck, with a few caveats. Range has to be decent, and towing capacity for light duty trailers, along with some power under the "gas" petal. You need some torque and power to tow, so that is the challenge the automakers must overcome," writes James Arnold, whose Toyota Tacoma is pictured in this story. He also added that 100+ miles of range "is sufficient" when it comes to a decent range for a start. "But that's hard to judge, some folks really don't need that much range, but others do," Arnold writes.

Some people pointed out to the availability of Lithium Ion batteries, which are already being used to power commercial electric vehicles, such as buses and off-highway cars. But they also questioned the cleanness of battery technology. "The making of most rechargeable batteries is almost as bad as the output of a gas engine. Organic batteries or a way to reuse pollutants or something and I am absolutely sold. Better batteries means faster charging means longer trips with less stops," writes a commenter named Chris. He, though, also acknowledges that his source on the pollution created by the manufacturing of rechargeable batteries is from 2013 and it may be a bit old now. Has the technology of making EV batteries improved, becoming a more clean? How clean is the source electricity put in my truck?

Application
If Tacomas one day went electric it may not be correct to assume that they will be used by regular people. They, or EV trucks in general, will probably be used by fleet companies or cities for which the distance is not an issue. "I could see the first waves of truck style EVs to be fleet operated by cities and governments. There, distance might not be as big an issue. I could even see EVs used in Mining, especially underground where we have an abundance of power and a demand for low emissions. It's going to start somewhere," points Matts in a concluding comment.

Also see: Electric F-150 Necessary for Widespread EV Adoption

What is your opinion? Would you drive an electric Toyota Tacoma if the above-mentioned concerns were addressed? What range would you need to make it acceptable for you?

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Comments

Hate to break it, but an EV Tacoma would be run on hydrogen. And the range would be just fine, with still plenty of towing power. No problem folks; no problem.

One of the reasons Toyota doesn't believe in batteries. How would you sufficiently power your 'light weight' truck? It would rule out the tacoma completely. A battery truck would have to be a Tundra just for the size and weight of needed battery. But the cost would be outrageous, and would need like 140kwh pack to keep towing ability, range, etc. That would be a 2,000 lb battery. Not only expensive, it would be like $2,000 just to ship the damned thing!

As battery density increases and price decreases, BEV powered pickups will be available in the not too distant future. When battery powered vehicles approach the price, range, and hauling/towing capability of internal combustible engines, I predict electric powered vehicles will become the mainstay. VIA Motors already sells an Extended Range Electric Vehicle (EREV) full-size pickup however at $79,000.00, it only makes sense for those that put on a lot of miles every year thereby saving on operating expenses over the life of the vehicle. If VIA pickups were priced $20,000.00 to $25,000.00 less, I think EREV pickups would currently be hot sellers (of course this technology would have proven reliability). Nonetheless, BEV pickups are destined to be in our future. Perhaps Tesla Motors will the first to produce such a vehicle.