The popular Toyota Kluger is set to go electric-only as the brand continues its rollout of battery-powered vehicles.

    An unsubstantiated report by US publication CarBuzz claims the Toyota Kluger – which is sold overseas as the Highlander – will go electric, though it hasn’t provided a timeline as to when this will happen.

    Earlier this year, Toyota’s US division announced it would invest US$1.3 billion (A$2 billion) towards preparing its Kentucky factory to produce a three-row electric SUV.

    The report from the US publication suggests this new model will replace the current Kluger/Highlander, which entered production in 2019.

    CarBuzz provides scant details about the proposed electric Kluger, though it claims there will still be a petrol-powered seven-seat SUV on offer, with the larger Grand Highlander retaining its petrol and hybrid drivetrains.

    Toyota’s Kentucky factory currently produces the Toyota RAV4 and Camry – plus the closely related Lexus ES – for the North American market, while the Highlander/Kluger is produced in Indiana for all markets bar China, where it’s assembled locally.

    CarBuzz also reports there will be a Lexus based on the electric Kluger, reportedly named TZ. Lexus recently introduced a version of the Grand Highlander called the TX.

    We may have already seen what could become the electric Kluger in the form of the bZ Large SUV concept, revealed in December 2021 among 15 other Toyota and Lexus prototypes.

    The unveiling came amid heavy criticism towards Toyota for a slow EV rollout and its reliance on hybrid technology, which continues to be a major driving factor in its passenger vehicle sales.

    In Australia, Toyota sold 10,430 Klugers in 2023, a 17 per cent drop on the year prior, however 6966 sales were attributed to hybrid variants, representing more than two-thirds of local orders.

    The Kluger was the fourth best-selling hybrid in Australia last year, behind fellow Toyota models such as the RAV4 (25,666 sales), the Corolla (16,455 sales) and the Camry (9771 sales).

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    Jordan Mulach

    Born and raised in Canberra, Jordan has worked as a full-time automotive journalist since 2021, being one of the most-published automotive news writers in Australia before joining CarExpert in 2024.

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