Less than a year after showcasing its A-BAT hybrid pickup truck at the Detroit Auto Show Toyota has confirmed that it is looking for potential suppliers for the vehicle but stresses that it has not been given the green light. Suppliers have been asked to bid on making parts for the compact truck, with the list of items including a four-cylinder petrol engine as well as a hybrid module.

According to Toyota, seeking bids on components is a standard practice in evaluating the costs of production, and the A-BAT could still be in competition for a place in the company's compact car lineup against the Urban Cruiser compact SUV. If the costs end up too high for the A-BAT then Toyota will be forced to abandon the project, a situation which is looking increasingly likely due to the vehicle’s expensive unibody platform.

In its favor are its impressive fuel economy, car-like handling, and unique styling. Packaged with the Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive, the A-BAT concept also featured a four-foot bed that can lengthen to six-feet when the tailgate is opened.

Another advantage of the A-BAT is that it could be designed using parts from both the Camry Hybrid and the redesigned 2010 Prius to keep costs low, reports Automotive News. Finally, upcoming CAFE regulations could see Toyota introduce the vehicle even if it only breaks even as it would allow the carmaker to bolster its pickup truck lineup with the tougher fuel economy standards in place.