Arctic Trucks Bets on Electric Pickup

08 Mar 2019

During the opening of its brand-new facility outside Drammen, Arctic Trucks launched a "world premiere" Hilux rebuilt for electric operation. The off-road specialist believes in a significant market.

For many, Arctic Trucks is synonymous with some of the coolest four wheelers available.

For many, Arctic Trucks is synonymous with some of the coolest four wheelers available.
Large wheels, wide bodywork, and terrain features that make the cars particularly suitable for glacier expeditions and driving in Arctic regions are among the specialties of the brand.

This year, the company which has its origins in Iceland, is celebrating 20 years in Norway. And this week, they moved into a brand new 3,300 (in the near future 4,300) square meter plant at Solbergmoen, just outside Drammen.   

On this special occasion, they also released the news that they have partnered with the Dutch company, Tembo 4x4 e-LV, and will focus on the electric conversion of the Toyota Hilux. Upon rebuilding, the Hilux pickup will no longer be considered a Toyota, as Toyota is not involved in the vehicle conversion. It will instead be called the Tembo 4x4 e-LV.

Not for the road yet
Although there are many concepts and plans of building electric pickups, we haven’t seen a lot of these yet.

For example, Tesla entrepreneur Elon Musk has long promised a pickup, but we are still waiting for it. The American company, Rivian, claims to have R1T ready by next year and Ford is electrifying its bestseller F-150. There are also those of BisonBollinger, and Workhorse

You will not yet see the Tembo 4x4e-LV on the road just yet, as it currently cannot be registered for use on public roads and will initially be sold as an electric battery machine tool.

The Tembo e-LV’s primary customers are mining companies and construction contractors who intend to run emission-free inside closed areas. That’s actually a pretty big market. 

Ørn Thomsen, General Manager of Arctic Truchs Norge AS said: “We have been in contact with several of Norway's largest contractors, and they are just wondering how fast we can deliver the car.” The reason for this is that mining companies spend large amounts of money on cleaning the air in the mines, and see significant savings if they can use machines and vehicles without local emissions inside the mines.
Thomsen also noted that although the purchase price of electric utility vehicles  cost more than diesel vehicles, it will still be profitable for mining companies because they can do without expensive treatment plants. And because emission requirements are becoming increasingly stringent in construction areas, the potential for using more electrical machines and cars is great. 

Rebuilt in Drammen
At the same time, Arctic Trucks is working with the Norwegian authorities to get the car type approved for use on the road with white or green license plates.

Thomsen added, “How long that process will take is impossible to say about now. However, I think that the market for this pickup will be professional customers in construction and public agencies.”

Arctic Trucks sets off its own race in the new plant at Solbergmoen for converting cars to electric

While Tembo supplies the electric motor, battery pack, and software in a conversion kit, Arctic Trucks becomes the authorised dealer for all of Scandinavia. Whilst customers buy the Toyota Hilux from Arctic Trucks in the usual way, the dealer takes care of rebuilding. “Customers deliver the car here to us, and before we assemble the electrical components from Tembo, we take out the diesel engine and make other adjustments first,” explains Thomsen.

Seeing great potential
Tembo owner and general manager, Frank Daams, was present at Arctic Trucks to show off the electric pickup. Tembo was founded by his father in 1969, then with a focus on agricultural machinery. Frank took over in 2014.

Tembo has been working on the development of the electric car for the past three-and-a half years. Currently, they have converted eight Land Cruiser 70 series and one Hilux into electric drives. The eight Land Cruisers were delivered to customers in Ireland, Canada, Australia, and Germany.

Daams said: “We see a global potential to sell at least 600 to 700 cars over the next three years. At the factory in the Netherlands, we have the capacity to convert 100 cars a year, but we are focussing on several partners such as Arctic Trucks, who can build the cars for their markets. For example. we already have partners in Canada and in Australia.”

 According to Daams, the largest total weight of the electric pickup is 4,000 kilograms, and he says that it can pull trailers with the same weight limitations as the standard Toyota Hilux, which affects the range dramatically. 

Open for sale before the end of the year
Frank Daams also says that Tembo is in dialogue with Toyota, with a possible partnership in the future. cooperation in prospect.
“Last week, we had six Toyota representatives from Japan visiting us, who showed great interest in our project. Hopefully we can get Toyota onboard in the further development of the vehicles,” he added.

As for Scandinavia, Ørn Thomsen says that they will initially start small, with some select customers, and that the first car will be delivered in August.
Tembo 4x4 e-LV
Engine power (max / continuous): 95/60 kW
Torque (max / continuous): 250/165 Nm
Max speed on road: 80 km / h
Max continuous speed off-road at 15 percent increase: 35 km / h  
Max increase: 45 percent
Battery: 28/56 kWh
Range: 80 km (28 kWh) / 120 km (56 kWh)
Charger: 15 kW onboard charger, 2 hours from 20 to 80 percent (240V / 32A). 25 kW onboard charger will soon be available and will charge from 20 to 80 percent in one hour.

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Tembo electric light vehicles (EUV) are the premier 100% electric solution for ruggedised mining, industrial, and commercial applications. We offer safe, high performance off-road electric vehicles with exacting industrial standards. Our mission is to support our clients in their quest to decarbonise their sites in the most demanding outdoor environments.
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