Aussie EV Company to Produce 8,500 Electric Hiluxes and Landcruisers Under New Deal

Aussie EV Company to Produce 8,500 Electric Hiluxes and Landcruisers Under New Deal

Aussie company SEA Electric has partnered with MEVCO (Mining Electric Vehicle Company) to build 8,500 electric Toyota Hilux and Landcruiser conversions for mining companies.

Electrifying standard ICE vehicles isn’t a new concept, but it has been growing in popularity, especially here in Australia. Most of the time, the cars being electrified are classic vehicles, where it works out as cheaper to convert to an electric model rather than to buy the original parts.

But there’s been another growing market for electric vehicle conversions: utes and trucks, for use in industries that require lots of heavy lifting, such as mining.

This brings us to today’s announcement. The above-mentioned Australian company MEVCO has made a commitment to order 8,500 converted electric 4WDs over the next five years, with the total value of the deal close to $1 billion.

SEA Electric was founded in Australia in 2012 but now operates on a global scale. The company’s headquarters is in the U.S., for the purpose of attracting EV manufacturing incentives that aren’t available locally, a spokesperson told Gizmodo Australia. This said, the company does assemble its conversions locally, in Melbourne’s Dandenong South. It’s unclear at this stage if all the vehicles forming part of this deal will be manufactured here, however. Regardless, the company has a lot of experience in developing electrified commercial vehicles and has previously done conversions to the Hino 500 series of trucks.

More than half of the 2023 allocation of vehicles have been pre-sold at the time of writing, according to the announcement post.

The announcement post even includes some specifications for the available battery and drivetrain configurations.

The vehicles on offer are available in 4×4 or 4×2 configurations, with either an 88kWh battery (380km estimated range) or a 60kWh battery (260km estimated range). These range estimates are unladen, and range would likely get lower as weight is applied. As you can expect, these are EVs, so they don’t produce any noise, fumes or vibrations.

The Hilux variant has a maximum torque of up to 700 Nm, and a maximum GVM of up to 4.5 tonnes. Additionally, fast DC charging systems are available for the vehicles, providing 80 per cent battery recharges within one hour (with a five-year battery warranty).

“Through MEVCO, the mining industry will now be able to access cutting-edge technology, which delivers top performance and total cost of ownership prospects, all with sustainability at the forefront,” SEA Electric founder and CEO Tony Fairweather said.

“This deal is a significant step forward in Australia and shows just what is possible when it comes to electrifying the world’s fleets.”

It’s terrific that we’re electrifying more and more industries, but it would seem redundant to place these vehicles at coal mining or gas extraction facilities.

Demonstration models for the mining-focused SEA Electric Toyota Hilux conversions are set to be available in Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

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