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Six-wheeled Toyota Hilux revealed as EV fire-fighting truck


The little fire truck is small enough to access parking garages to put out vehicle battery fires

A UK-based outfit by the name of Prospeed has revealed a six-wheeled Toyota Hilux that it’s calling the Hiload 6×6 Rapid Intervention Vehicle.

Built to fight electrified vehicle fires, the 1.8-metre tall Hiload is able to access multi storey  parking garages that traditional fire trucks are too big to get into. 

2023 Prospeed Toyota Hilux 6x6 rear 3/4
All six wheels are powered in Prospeed’s Hiload

Despite using a body from a Toyota Hilux, the Hiload sits on a bespoke chassis built by Prospeed, and makes use of a new torque-splitting system for the 6×6 system. 

The stronger chassis also allows the Hiload to triple the payload of the regular Hilux, with the ability to carry up to 3000kg. The gross vehicle mass has been uprated to 5600kg, and the load area has been extended by 1.2-metres, allowing room for the fire extinguishing gear. 

Since the introduction of electric vehicles, fire fighters have struggled with extinguishing blazes due to the complexities associated with lithium fires with battery units. 

2023 Prospeed Toyota Hilux 6x6 rear
Fire-fighting equipment is stored in the rear of the Hiload

Though Prospeed notes that electric vehicles are less prone to combustion over ICE-powered vehicles, once a fire is started, the usual protocol is to drop the vehicle in a large container filled with water, and leave it for multiple days. 

As you’d expect, this isn’t the most practical, safest, or most cost effective method, so Prospeed has implemented a system called Coldcut Cobra on the Hiload. 

2023 Prospeed Toyota Hilux 6x6 rear driving
At 1.8-metres, most parking buildings are accessible

This system pierces the electric vehicle’s floor with an extremely high-pressure jet of water, and proceeds to fill the battery with water, which cools down the modules and prevents propagation. 

Testing has shown that the Coldcut Cobra system can “prevent cell propagation within 10 minutes, using just 240 liters of water.”

Prospeed notes that the Hiload 6×6 is currently being tested as part of a manufacturer’s EV fire-fighting fleet in the Czech Republic.

2023 Prospeed Toyota Hilux 6x6 driving
The Hiload can be used both on and off-road

Alongside the six-wheeled fire truck, Prospeed offers other 4×4 and 6×6 conversions that are designed for military use.