In 2021, Toyota announced its intention to introduce an electric pickup truck in the foreseeable future. The company is set to showcase what could be the design of this upcoming vehicle through its EPU concept at the 2023 Tokyo Auto Show taking place this week.
The EPU is a mid-sized electric pickup, measuring 199.6 inches in total length with a 131.9-inch wheelbase. These dimensions contrast with the revamped 2024 Tacoma model, which has respective dimensions of 212.3 inches and 140.6 inches.
While the dimensions of the truck bed have not been disclosed, the tailgate features an innovative folding mechanism that allows for extra inches to be added to the bed’s length. This feature is particularly useful for accommodating larger objects such as dirt bikes or small ATVs on an as-needed basis.
As for technical specifications, Toyota has not released detailed information. However, it is known that the EPU concept adopts a unibody architecture typical of compact trucks, diverging from the body-on-frame structure common to larger pickups like the Tacoma.
Interior and Steering Technology of the Toyota EPU Concept
The EPU concept’s interior bears similarities to the cabins found in Toyota’s bZ electric vehicle line. It features a yoke-style steering wheel, a technology that Toyota and its luxury counterpart Lexus are gradually introducing to certain markets. Yoke-style steering wheels are engineered for compatibility with drive-by-wire steering systems, facilitating single-handed lock-to-lock operations.
Alongside the EPU concept, Toyota plans to debut an advanced yoke-style steering wheel technology called Neo Steer at the Tokyo Auto Show. This innovation incorporates diminutive paddle flaps on the steering wheel for acceleration and braking, akin to motorcycle controls. According to Toyota, this technology could enable individuals with lower limb impairments to operate a vehicle.
Broader Appeal and Market Potential
Toyota has previously showcased electric versions of the Tacoma and Hilux, its global mid-size pickup. A production-ready EPU would likely attract a broad range of consumers, including those interested in a lifestyle-oriented truck as well as those seeking a vehicle suitable for light commercial applications.
Additional Highlights from the Tokyo Auto Show
The Tokyo Auto Show, which will open its doors to media on October 25, will also serve as the platform for Toyota to display electric concept models of the Land Cruiser, a sports car, and a crossover SUV. Toyota’s luxury Lexus division is also slated to preview its upcoming next-generation electric vehicle technology through a sophisticated sedan concept.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Toyota EPU electric truck concept
What is the Toyota EPU concept?
The Toyota EPU concept is a mid-sized electric pickup truck that the automaker plans to showcase at the 2023 Tokyo Auto Show. It represents Toyota’s future direction in the electric pickup market and indicates readiness for production.
When was the Toyota EPU concept announced?
Toyota initially announced its plans to enter the electric pickup market in 2021. The EPU concept is the company’s latest development in this direction and will be presented at the 2023 Tokyo Auto Show.
What are the dimensions of the Toyota EPU?
The Toyota EPU concept has a total length of 199.6 inches and a wheelbase of 131.9 inches. These dimensions contrast with Toyota’s revamped 2024 Tacoma model, which measures 212.3 inches in length and has a 140.6-inch wheelbase.
Does the EPU concept feature a unibody or body-on-frame design?
The EPU concept adopts a unibody design architecture, which is more common in compact trucks. This is in contrast to the body-on-frame structure typically found in larger trucks like the Tacoma.
What is unique about the tailgate of the Toyota EPU?
The tailgate of the EPU concept features a folding mechanism that allows for additional length to be added to the truck bed. This is particularly useful for accommodating larger objects such as dirt bikes or small ATVs.
What kind of steering technology does the EPU concept feature?
The EPU concept is equipped with a yoke-style steering wheel, designed for compatibility with drive-by-wire steering systems. This allows for single-handed lock-to-lock operations.
What is the Neo Steer technology?
Neo Steer is an advanced yoke-style steering wheel technology that Toyota plans to debut at the Tokyo Auto Show alongside the EPU concept. It incorporates small paddle flaps for acceleration and braking, similar to motorcycle controls, and aims to enable individuals with lower limb impairments to drive.
Will the EPU concept lead to a production vehicle?
While it is not confirmed, a production version of the EPU would likely appeal to a broad consumer base, including those interested in a lifestyle-oriented truck as well as those seeking light commercial applications.
What other electric vehicle concepts will Toyota present at the Tokyo Auto Show?
In addition to the EPU concept, Toyota will showcase electric concept models of the Land Cruiser, a sports car, and a crossover SUV. The Lexus division will also preview its next-generation electric vehicle technology with a sleek sedan concept.
More about Toyota EPU electric truck concept
- Toyota’s Official Announcement on the EPU Concept
- 2023 Tokyo Auto Show Event Page
- Toyota’s bZ Electric Vehicle Line Overview
- Comparative Analysis between Unibody and Body-on-Frame Designs
- Overview of Drive-by-Wire Steering Systems
- Toyota’s Previous Electric Tacoma and Hilux Concepts
- Lexus’ Next-Generation Electric Vehicle Technology Preview