Japanese automotive manufacturing giant Toyota Motor Corporation is to display its new production-ready Ultra-compact BEV (battery electric vehicle) at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show ahead of a planned commercial launch in Japan in 2020.
Toyota’s Ultra-compact BEV is ultra-compact and has only two seats, and the new vehicle is specifically designed to meet the needs of customers in urban environments who make regular, short-distance trips such as the elderly, newly licensed drivers, or businesspeople visiting local customers.
It will have a range of approximately of just 100 kilometres on a single charge and a maximum speed of 60 km/h, and is only 2490 millimeters (98 inches) long.
“We want to create a mobility solution that can support Japan’s ageing 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.”
Toyota is also exploring ways in which their Ultra-compact BEV can be used in environments beyond individual mobility – such as providing transportation options in urban or mountainous municipalities.
The Tokyo Motor Show will also see Toyota provide test drives for its other BEVs including the Walking Area BEV and Toyota i-ROAD.
In conjunction with the planned 2020 launch of its Ultra-compact BEV, Toyota is also planning a new business model which aims to promote the wider adoption of battery electric vehicles and includes examining every step of the battery’s life, from manufacture through sale, resale, or re-use, and recycling to maximize its value.
Toyota will also focus in the near-term on expanding leasing initiatives designed to recapture used battery for evaluation and re-use as appropriate in pre-owned vehicles, as service parts, or even in non-automotive applications.
On top of that, Toyota is also apparently developing peripheral services for battery electric vehicles including recharging stations and insurance.