While Ford rival Toyota somewhat shunned the idea of all-electric vehicles at first, the Japanese automaker has since invested heavily in that area – though it also isn’t giving up on hybrids, much like The Blue Oval. Regardless, Toyota has several new EV models in the pipeline, one of which is a three-row crossover that will be built at the automaker’s Kentucky plant, where it is investing billions to retool that facility for the production of future EVs. Toyota also has plans to build an all-electric pickup – most likely, one based on the mid-size Tacoma – which explains why our sister site, Motrolix, recently discovered that the automaker benchmarking a Ford F-150 Lightning.
Toyota showed off an all-electric mid-size pickup that looks much like the Tacoma a couple of years ago, and as such, it makes perfect sense that the automaker would want to benchmark an established entity like the Ford F-150 Lightning, which has been on sale since 2021 as a 2022 model year vehicle. According to Motrolix, Toyota is benchmarking far more than just the Lightning, however – it also has a Tesla Cybertruck and GMC Hummer EV in its possession, too.
This trio of EV pickups is being evaluated at two different Toyota facilities in the U.S. in an effort that involves a “healthy cross-section” of workers from different departments within the company, according to this report, signaling that Toyota is quite serious about developing an all-electric pickup of its own.
In recent months, Toyota has somewhat followed in Ford’s electrified footsteps in a number of other ways, too. In fact, it’s currently partnering with Redwood Materials – an EV battery recycling outfit with heavy backing from The Blue Oval – as it works to develop long-range solid-state batteries as well, plans to follow Ford and adopt Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) rather than the Combined Charging System (CCS) it currently utilizes in its EVs, and Toyota is also slated to build EV components in Michigan, where Ford is in the midst of erecting a new EV battery plant of its own.