Toyota preps new large electric SUV, is this the Highlander EV we’ve been waiting for?


Another fully electric large Toyota SUV is on its way. Toyota announced it’s preparing its three-row electric SUV as part of a new $1.4 billion investment in Indiana. Is this the electric Toyota Highlander EV we’ve been waiting for?

A new large Toyota electric SUV is coming to the US

Since 2021, Toyota has invested 18.6 billion in its US operations. The new $1.4 billion will go toward its Princeton facility as it prepares to assemble its first three-row electric SUV.

Toyota has invested $8 billion in Indiana so far. The new funding will create an additional 340 new jobs. The Indiana plant employs over 7,500 workers who assemble the Toyota Sienna, Highlander, Grand Highlander, and Lexus TX.

Toyota revealed it would launch a new three-row electric SUV in the US last May as part of ten new EVs set to roll out globally.

However, that electric SUV will be built at its Kentucky plant, set for production next year. A spokesperson clarified (via Automotive News) that this new three-row electric SUV will be a separate, larger model.

Toyota three-row electric SUV concept (Source: Toyota)

Is it the Toyota Highlander EV?

Earlier this month, David Christ, the GM of Toyota’s US division, told CarBuzz, “You’re going to see more BEVs from us in the future.”

According to Christ, this will include a fully electric Toyota Highlander three-row EV. Holland confirmed it will be a “chassis-based” vehicle rather than a skateboard-based EV platform.

Toyota said the new investment will also add a battery pack assembly line for lithium-ion batteries. The batteries will be supplied from its new EV battery plant in North Carolina, slated to go online in 2025.

Toyota Land Cruiser Se EV concept (Source: Toyota)

The Japanese automaker sold over 32,000 Highlanders and 25,136 Grand Highlanders in the US during the first three months of 2024.

Meanwhile, Toyota has only sold 1,897 bZ4X models, its sole EV in the US through March. The news comes after Toyota announced an additional $1.3 billion investment in its KY plant in February.

Toyota is also considering an electric Tacoma and Tundra but is watching demand for rivals like the Ford F-150 Lightning and Rivian R1T.

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