Land Cruiser 70 Is Going Electric to Tackle This Job

a white four door toyota land cruiser 70 pickup truck with a green bumper sits on a clay road
Land Cruiser 70 Is Going Electric, UndergroundZero Automotive
  • Australia's Zero Automotive debuts upgraded version of its electric Toyota Land Cruiser 70 pickup truck conversion, aimed at the mining industry.

  • The truck features a 60-kWh lithium titanate oxide (LTO) battery produced by Toshiba, which gives it a range of 124 miles.

  • The company fits the ZED70 Ti with its proprietary HEPS (Hazardous Environment Protection System) underbody armor, meant to prolong the truck's lifespan in harsh environments, including mining tunnels.

The new Toyota Land Cruiser hasn't dropped yet, but Toyota never really stopped building one of the old ones. The Land Cruiser 70 is still going strong, having entered production all the way back in 1984, and has just received another facelift that should keep it fresh for another decade or so.


But in the age of electrification, the TLC 70 might have finally become an anachronism.

With a little help from Zero Automotive, which calls Adelaide, Australia, home, the 70 series has entered the EV era, becoming even more future-proof in the process.

Dubbed the ZED70 Ti, this battery-electric version of the 70 series trades its twin-turbo 4.5-liter diesel engine for a 3-phase asynchronous electric motor producing 268 hp and a peak torque of 885 lb-ft.

The motor draws power from a Toshiba 60-kWh lithium titanate oxide (LTO) battery, which is set up for Level 2 and Level 3 charging, with speeds up to 160 kW. This gives the ZED70 Ti a charging time of as little as 25 minutes.

The truck's range, meanwhile, is 124 miles, which is quite enough for use in the mining industry, including inside tunnels, where daily distances aren't that great.

2023 zed70 ti
Zero AutomotiveZero Automotive

The battery-electric powertrain, of course, is just one part of the conversion program. Zero Automotive also fits the TLC 70 with its proprietary HEPS (Hazardous Environment Protection System) underbody armor, meant to survive the toughest terrain.

Speaking of terrain, the ZED70 Ti is aimed pretty much exclusively at mining operations.

"Underground mining is an incredibly tough environment for vehicles, and we know we have gone above and beyond to develop this ADR [Australian Design Rules] approved package that is up for the task," the company says.

The aim of the underbody armor is to allow the frame and suspension to withstand highly corrosive environments, the company notes, with mining operations being filled with abrasive minerals and chemicals.

Many of 70 Series Land Cruisers that are used in mining operations are diesel. But the mining industry is keen to reduce its environmental impact while also purchasing vehicles that are likely to last longer.

The ZED70 Ti will likely allow mining operations to achieve both goals, even on this relatively small scale.

2023 zed70 ti
The ZED70 Ti is aimed almost exclusively at use in the mining industry, and is built to work underground.Zero Automotive

"Across the board, mining companies have a desire to lower their environmental impact, Zero Automotive has been working side by side with many in the industry to provide a solution that caters to the very specific needs of underground mining," says Joe Di Santo, CEO of Zero Automotive.

The conversion specialist has already signed a deal with Barminco, one of the largest hard rock underground mining firms, for the purchase of its electric 70 Series trucks, which will be offered in two- and four-door configurations.

Another company, CarBon Leasing & Rentals that works with mining companies, plans to purchase 200 of these trucks, with the first ones slated to arrive in late 2024.

Should Toyota offer the updated 70-Series Land Cruiser SUV in North America, or is the demand too niche for such a model? Let us know what you think in the comments below.