The as-yet-unnamed two-seater is referred to as an ultra-compact battery electric vehicle (EV) and has been designed “for short-distance travel with limited impact on the environment”. It is 2490mm long, 1290mm wide and 1550mm high and built to meet new micro car regulations in Japan.
With a claimed range of 62 miles, an "extremely tight" turning radius of 3.9m and a top speed of just 37mph, the model is aimed squarely at drivers in built-up urban environments, and more specifically the elderly. Charging time is a claimed five hours from a 220-volt power unit.
Akihiro Yanaka, head of development, said: “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.”
Toyota also notes the new model’s suitability for newly licensed drivers and city-based mobile businesses.
The van is based on similar underpinnings, but with a body designed for greater carrying capacity.
As part of its Tokyo motor show announcements, Toyota also confirmed the i-Road and i-Walk concepts previously displayed at motor shows will make production. Wheelchair compatible versions of these concepts will also be launched in 2021.
The unveiling comes as the firm reshapes its business model to better promote the concept of mass electric car adoption. As part of the new strategy, Toyota says it will scrutinise “every step of the battery’s lifecycle, from manufacture through sale, resale or re-use to recycling, to maximise its value”, in response to widespread criticism that battery costs make even the most affordable EVs much more expensive than their conventionally fuelled counterparts.
In the short-term, Toyota plans to introduce a new battery leasing scheme whereby used units can be swapped into pre-owned vehicles, broken down for spare parts or used in non-automotive power storage facilities as appropriate.
It also claims to be developing its own EV charging stations and plans to launch an EV-specific insurance programme.
Joining the two-seater on Toyota’s Tokyo stand will be the Walking Area BEV, designed for security patrols and airport luggage movements, the i-Road, a short-distance electric scooter designed for urban commutes and tourist functions, and the second generation of the Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle in concept form.