Electric Toyota? This Tacoma Got a Tesla Makeover!

Published Categorized as Toyota No Comments on Electric Toyota? This Tacoma Got a Tesla Makeover!
2024 Toyota Tacoma: Power, Versatility, and Customization Options

This unassuming first-generation Toyota Tacoma looks like any other on the outside. But pop the hood, and you’ll be in for a surprise! Gone is the original gas engine, replaced by a mysterious orange wiring system and a big Tesla-branded component. It’s silent, too! Head towards the truck bed, and you’ll see even more modifications.

Meet the Tescoma, possibly the world’s first Toyota Tacoma with half a Tesla Model 3 Performance drivetrain and a whole new battery system. This creation belongs to Drewthecarguy from Tacoma World forums. He bought a well-maintained 2002 Tacoma and decided to give it a special electric makeover.

2024 Toyota Tacoma TRD (Credits: Toyota)

Inspired by the instant power of his daily driver, Tesla Model 3, Drewthecarguy embarked on a mission to convert his Tacoma into a battery-powered pickup. To stay true to the original truck’s layout, he opted for just the rear electric motor from a Tesla Model 3 Performance.

This gives the Tescoma a healthy 300 horsepower, even though the Model 3 Performance originally had a dual-motor setup (the front motor wasn’t used here). Interestingly, both the Tesla Model 3 and the Tacoma share a history, having been built in the same California factory (albeit under different names at different times).

Powering Up the Tescoma: Battery, Brakes, and More

The Tescoma’s electric heart comes from a disassembled Tesla Model 3 battery. Its four modules were split in two, with half placed under the truck bed in a custom enclosure and the other half nestled between the chassis rails.

Drewthecarguy made this choice to achieve a desired range of around 200 miles on a full charge. He also needed all four battery modules because the electric motor requires 400 volts to function. Using only two modules would have halved the voltage to 200v, requiring additional components.

Toyota Tacoma’s Modified Electric Version (Credits: InsideEVs)

The original “penthouse” under the Model 3 trunk, which holds key parts like the DC to DC converter and battery management system, found a new home under the Tescoma’s hood.

Beefing Up the Tescoma

The extra 1,200 pounds of battery weight necessitated suspension modifications. A Ridetech coilover setup was installed to handle the increased load.

The brakes also got an upgrade. The front brakes now sport used Cadillac ATS calipers and new drilled-out rotors to fit the Tacoma’s hubs. The rear brakes come straight from a Tesla, while the power steering uses a Volvo pump, and the power brakes rely on a Tesla Model S vacuum pump (both electrically powered). The Tescoma even enjoys Tesla Model S-sourced air conditioning!

Charging Up the Tescoma

Unlike many Tesla conversions that retain the original charging system, the Tescoma takes a different approach. To save costs, Drewthecarguy opted for an aftermarket drive unit controller from EV Controls and a J1772 charging connector. This means the Tescoma won’t be able to use Tesla’s Supercharger network.

Tacoma’s Electric Engine getting charged up (Credits: InsideEVs)

This one-of-a-kind electric Tacoma packs a surprising punch! Converted from a gas-powered 2002 model, the Tescoma can go from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds, which is impressive for a modern hot hatchback, let alone a truck this age!

Drewthecarguy put the project up for sale a few times, with the asking price reaching $25,000. It was even listed on Doug DeMuro’s Cars and Bids website! The latest listing we found was on a private Facebook group for a more budget-friendly $15,000, but that ad has since disappeared.

We don’t know if the Tescoma found a new home, but it definitely proves that electric cars can be just as exciting (and maybe even more so!) than traditional gasoline-powered hot rods. The future of car customization is electric, and the Tescoma is a prime example!

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments