In the market to buy a condo in Tokyo? If you buy the right one, it will come with a car. Starting in spring 2012, Toyota plans to launch a condominium-based car-sharing program in collaboration with Japanese real estate developers.
As a start, a condominium building in Meguro, Tokyo, one in Suginami, also in Tokyo, and one in Aichi will each receive a couple of the Prius Plug-in Hybrids and the iQ EVs. Both cars are scheduled for a 2012 launch. The cars will be managed by nearby Toyota vehicle rental and lease companies. Toyota sees this as a test to “investigate further methods to promote EV-use based on the results of this program.”
Says Toyota: “Car sharing has become more popular among people in urban areas who do not own cars, and it is also gaining public attention as a countermeasure against global warming and oil dependency.” Also, owning and especially parking can be a major hassle in Japan’s inner cities.
Also according to Toyota, the upcoming Prius Plug-in Hybrid has an electric-only driving range of 23.4 km (14.5 miles) before the gasoline engine powers the generator. The iQ-based EV is said to have a range of 105 km (66 miles).