Manufacturers nowadays are building lots of electric crossovers and SUVs because that’s what the market wants: vehicles that look like they could go places, even though most of them have a single driven axle and would get flustered on a patch of wet grass. There are currently no proper off-roaders that are fully-electric, so the news that Toyota is reportedly considering a Land Cruiser BEV will definitely be of interest.
The news comes from an Australian outlet, CarsGuide, that quotes Toyota Australia's General Manager of Product Planning and Development, Rod Ferguson, as saying
We've delivered one vehicle so far to BHP as far as a pilot and testing project. And part of that is co-development - they’re interested in emissions reduction, vibration reduction, they want to see how the range works, and how it works with a daily load. So we can get feedback to level up, with the intention of at some point, timing not known...to do something more for more customers.
BHP is a pilot program and there’s already one 70 Series Land Cruiser electric, converted by Toyota, that has reached a customer. However, it’s not yet available to order, but if feedback continues to be good, there is a good chance it could be made available to a wider audience. The only electric Land Cruiser made officially by Toyota currently in existence is being used by a salt mining company.
We don’t know the specifics of the motor (or motors) and the battery pack used in the vehicle, but in this particular case, they replace a 4.3-liter V8 diesel that puts out 202 horsepower and 430 Nm (317 lb-ft). It’s also worth noting that Toyota isn’t currently doing the conversion itself, but relying on a third party, although given the manufacture’s newfound motivation to release fully-electric vehicles, it’s not out of the question to see an electric Land Cruiser in the near future (especially since Mercedes is known to be working on a G-Class BEV).