An EV conversion of a Toyota Land Cruiser, made by EVSwap, shows how capable a simple powertrain swapped off-roader can be.
With the instant torque and incredible amount of control an electric powertrain provides, it is no wonder that many off-road enthusiasts see them as the next significant upgrade. But with the limited number of electric 4x4s coming from traditional makers like Jeep, Ford, and Toyota, many have been forced to make their own custom solutions. Enter the electrified Toyota Land Cruiser from EV Swap.
The excellent video from TFLOffroad shows how capable custom electric off-roaders can be and highlights some of the ingenious solutions to make it happen.
As the owner, Jimmy, pointed out, the electric Toyota is not a wholly stripped system, and it still relies on many parts that were originally part of the vehicle. Most prominently, Toyota’s transfer case remains in place to direct power to all four wheels. At the same time, the transmission has been removed, and the innards of a Nissan Leaf have replaced the engine and gas tank.
While the Nissan Leaf’s powertrain is far from the most powerful offering on the market, its low price and ease of implimentation made it the ideal choice for Jimmy, who, in the future, would probably opt for a system with more range if at all possible.
With the Nissan Leaf powertrain, the Toyota Land Cruiser certainly isn’t the most powerful vehicle on the road. The powertrain has a 30kWh battery, a single motor producing 100 horsepower and 187 pound-feet of torque, and all necessary management systems. With this setup, Jimmy estimates a moderate range of just 70 miles, but thanks to a 400-watt solar system and accompanying 3kWh battery, he can get out of anywhere in a pinch.
As modifying gas vehicles becomes ever more complex and challenging due to regulations in many states, there is no doubt that EV conversions will become increasingly popular. Toyota 4x4s like the Land Cruiser may be a popular choice, but I am excited to see what other projects emerge as well.