The chances of your next car being electric continue to rise as automakers make ambitious proclamations – and promises – about the industry’s future. EVs are quickly going mainstream, but it’ll still be several years before they replace gas-powered vehicles on the road. However, until that happens, electrification will transform other industries, like aviation, thanks to new vehicles like Toyota’s latest offering – the towing tractor.
The all-electric towing tractor (3TE25) comes from Toyota Industries Corporation, not Toyota Motor, though both fall under the Toyota Group umbrella. Toyota Industries dabbles in producing various products such as forklifts, looms, lift trucks, automotive components, and even passenger vehicles. Earlier this year, Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism identified 21 domestic airports that will work to reduce CO2 emissions. Toyota’s new towing tractor will assist in that effort.
The company says that the new tractor will perform equally to the gas-engine one, delivering the same towing force, driving speed, and climbing capability. The tug has a top speed of 25 kilometers per hour (15 miles per hour), with a high-capacity 600-amp-hour battery on board. Toyota also ensured the new tractor had the same turning radius and wide field of view. However, the press release doesn’t note the vehicle’s range, which would be highly dependent on the amount of weight it’s towing.
Standard equipment for the EV includes an LED headlight and a multi-function display, which features a maximum speed setting and overspeed alarm). There’s an optional safety belt interlock (without it, the vehicle has limited operations), a better-positioned charging port, a rear-inching device for hitching a trailer, and a rear LED work light. The new all-electric towing tractor went on sale today, October 25, through 40 Toyota L&F dealers in Japan. However, it’s likely to be just one of several new electrified vehicles that will be infiltrating the aviation industry in the years to come.