Toyota Touts Tiny Electric Car

Toyota (Tokyo) — Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) today announced that it will display its new, production-ready Ultra-compact BEV (battery electric vehicle) at the Future Expo special exhibition of the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show ahead of the vehicle’s planned commercial launch in Japan in 2020. The next-generation mobility solution is designed to provide short-distance mobility while limiting impact on the environment.

“We want to create a mobility solution that can support Japan’s aging society and provide freedom of movement to people at all stages of life,” said Akihiro Yanaka, Head of Development. “With the Ultra-compact BEV, we are proud to offer customers a vehicle that not only allows for greater autonomy, but also requires less space, creates less noise and limits environmental impact.”

The ultra-compact, two-seater BEV is specifically designed to meet the daily mobility needs of customers who make regular, short-distance trips such as the elderly, newly licensed drivers, or business-people visiting local customers. It can be driven a range of approximately 100 km on a single charge, reach a maximum speed of 60 km/h, and features an extremely short turning radius.

Toyota is also pairing its planned 2020 launch of the Ultra-compact BEV with a new business model that aims to promote the wider adoption of battery electric vehicles in general. This includes examining every step of the battery’s life, from manufacture through sale, resale or re-use, and recycling to maximize its value. In the near term, Toyota will focus on expanded leasing initiatives designed to recapture used batteries for evaluation and re-use as appropriate in pre-owned vehicles, as service parts, or even in non-automobile applications. Toyota is also developing peripheral services for battery electric vehicles such as recharging stations and insurance.

In addition, Toyota is exploring applications for its compact, short-distance BEVs beyond individual mobility. For example, the ultra-compact BEV in particular is well-suited to meet the mobility needs of municipalities working to create safe, unrestricted, and environmentally-friendly transportation options in urban or mountainous communities. To date, Toyota is already engaged with approximately 100 corporate and government partners to explore new transportation models that would include BEVs such as the Ultra-compact BEV, and is in ongoing discussions with others.

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