If you wanted a perfect description of the concept of irony, meet the British company that makes 6×6 versions of the popular Toyota HiLux designed to go where regular fire trucks don’t dare – and fight the sort of fires that ignite and persist when an electric vehicle catches on fire.
The company is currently testing the vehicle in Europe in the hopes it can become a suburban fire fighting system to tackle modern fires like those caused by electric vehicles.
Appropriately named the “HiLoad”, the mini firetruck is surprisingly compact at just 1850mm tall, meaning it can get in and out of shopping centre car parks where EVs may potentially run into issues.
Most EV fires start small then hit what scientists call a “thermal runaway” event, whereby the damaged lithium-ion battery modules generate so much heat in a chemical reaction the fire becomes incredibly intense, in some cases taking days to put out.
As such, the HiLoad carries special tools to prevent this from taking place.
While it also carries most of the regular gear a full-size firetruck needs, it also comes with a ColdCut Cobra fire suppression system the company claims makes use of an “ultra high pressure lance” to blast abrasive material suspended in water at 4350psi.
According to Prospeed, the literal liquid spear can break through even the toughest of battery casings so firefighters can get water directly on top of the battery modules on fire in almost any electric car and put out the fire with around 227L of water (60 gallons).
In case you are hoping to buy a 6×6 Toyota HiLux for your own personal use, it’s good to know the vehicle has a payload carrying capacity of three tonnes.
So long as you can get the vehicle complied, it is indeed available in right-hand drive.