Old? Don't Go Far? Toyota Has Your Ride

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

If that compact sedan or crossover has become too much to handle, and you live in Japan, Toyota has just the thing for you. Due out in 2020, Toyota’s aptly-named Ultra-compact BEV is a, um, ultra-compact battery electric vehicle that’s clean, green, and in no way mean.

To butcher a tagline from Dodge… if you can handle a top speed of 60 km/h (37.3 mph), you could be Toyota material.

The automaker’s new home-market offering dispenses with needless frills like a backseat or size, preferring instead to make the smallest impact on the environment and traffic congestion as possible. Its reveal comes in advance of a public debut at the Tokyo Motor Show.

“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 the model’s development head, Akihiro Yanaka. “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.”

Offering just enough car and capability to perform a number of mundane tasks, Toyota sees the tiny two-seater’s buyers as a combination of elderly residents (which Japan has in spades), newly-licensed drivers, and business types who make a lot of local trips. You probably won’t be driving out of the city in this thing. Besides its limited top speed, the Ultra-compact BEV offers a range of just 100 km (62 miles), which, to its credit, is a greater distance offered by Smart’s Fortwo Electric Drive EQ Whatever. You can be sure that parking and maneuvering in tight spaces will be a breeze ⁠—assuming your eyesight is up to the task.

Toyota’s tiny EV is just one of the electric mobility solutions the automaker has planned for the country, with others coming in even smaller. Batteries will be reused, the company claims, and business and government partners are already being wooed to take on a fleet of said vehicles. Pricing and power specs remain a mystery ⁠— not that you’ll need to know.

[Images: Toyota]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • APaGttH APaGttH on Oct 17, 2019

    Top speed of 37 MPH? Perfect replacement for the left lane Prius.

  • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Oct 17, 2019

    I'm old, and I don't go far that often, but I'm not getting in that thing. I'll keep driving my 2005 LeSabre with 86k instead. I enjoy intimidating secretaries in their Corollas.

    • Charliej Charliej on Oct 17, 2019

      Some secretaries carry guns and get upset when intimidated by people in big cars. It could be dangerous being you.

  • Aja8888 Folks, this car is big enough to live in. Dual deal: house and car for $7 large.
  • Astigmatism I don't think tax credits will put me in this league, but if I could swing it, I would 1000% go for a restomod EV Grand Wagoneer: https://www.thedrive.com/news/you-can-buy-an-electric-80s-jeep-grand-wagoneer-for-295000
  • FreedMike I like the looks of the Z, but I'd take the Mustang. V8s are a disappearing breed.
  • Picard234 I can just smell the clove cigarettes and the "oregano" from the interior. Absolutely no dice at any price.
  • Dartdude The Europeans don't understand the American market. That is why they are small players here. Chrysler Group is going to die pretty soon under their control. Europeans have a sense of superiority over Americans that is why the Mercedes merger didn't work out and almost killed Chrysler. Bringing European managers aren't going to help. Just like F1 they want our money. We need Elon Musk to buy out Chrysler, Dodge and Ram from Stellantis.
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