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