Toyota Confirms a Compact Mass-Market EV, Here's What We Know So Far
【Summary】Toyota has revealed a tiny, production-ready prototype of its mass-market electric car at the 2019 Tokyo motor show
During last week's Tokyo motor show, the world's largest car manufacturer Toyota Motor Co revealed a tiny, production-ready electric vehicle prototype ahead of its mass-market launch in Japan, which is scheduled for late 2020.
The car dubbed the Toyota Ultra-Compact BEV unmistakably shares the same silhouette as the compact Scion IQ which was later re-badged as an Aston Martin Cygnet.
Dimension-wise, the Toyota Ultra-Compact BEV will only be 98 inches long, offering what the Japanese carmaker describes as an "extremely short turning radius."
The Toyota BEV is 51 inches wide and 61 inches tall, which gives the vehicle a ‘tall boy" silhouette. Overall the new EV will basically be shorter and narrower than the Smart ForTwo EQ.
The car will be Toyota's first mass-market electric offering and will be sold exclusively in Japan, considering it comes with a top speed of just 37 mph (60 km/h).
As far as the car's driving range is concerned, the car is expected to last you 60 miles (100 km) depending on the driving conditions.
Toyota's BEV is available in two iterations, one for personal use or with a customizable cabin that can be configured to one's requirements, including different interior modes such as drive, mobile office or just relaxing. The business version gets all-black body work and a cabin equipped with tablets and touchscreen tables for getting work done.
Toyota also announced its working on developing another EV that has been slated to hit the European market in late 2021 through an agreement that it signed with fellow Japanese carmaker Suzuki in 2017.
Suzuki is working on an all-electric version of its ‘tall boy' hatchback Wagon R which is currently being road testing in India. The car is expected to go on sale in India sometime next year. A rebadged Toyota version of the Wagon R might be introduced at a later stage of the car's life cycle.
Toyota said that Suzuki will take on the production of the EV whereas Toyota will only focus on providing technical support.
Toyota claims that thanks to its collaboration with Suzuki, it was able to design an EV that will offer a driving range of around 80 miles (130 kilometers).
Manish Kharinta is a automotive writer based in the Los Angeles area. He has worked for automotive industry websites TheSmokingClutch.com, CarDekho.com and CarBikeindia.com. His experience ranges from covering auto shows, to car reviews and breaking automotive news. Manish aims to bring forth his unique perspective on automotive design and technological innovations in the automotive industry.
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