Toyota is also developing peripheral services for battery electric vehicles such as recharging stations and insurance.In addition, Toyota is exploring applications for its compact, short-distance BEVs beyond individual mobility. Officially known as the "Ultra-Compact BEV", the pint-sized auto takes the shape of a city-oriented two-seater designed primarily for the elderly and newly licensed drivers.
Designed for those who make regular short trips, such as the elderly, newly-licensed drivers and local businesses, the as-yet-unnamed vehicle is meant for low-speed commutes, with a quoted top speed of 60 km/h.
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Toyota say the little two-seater EV is designed specifically for use by the elderly, newly-licensed drivers and for business users visiting local clients and will go in to production in 2020, at least for the JDM. "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". To date, Toyota is already engaged with approximately 100 corporate and government partners to explore new transportation models that would include BEVs such as the Ultra-compact BEV, and is in ongoing discussions with others. This will cover every step of a battery's life to maximise its value, from its manufacturing, through its sale, resale or reuse, right up to its recycling. The Ultra-compact BEV is said to be well suited to meet the requirements of municipalities working to ensure safe and eco-friendly transportation.
At the Tokyo Motor Show, the Japanese carmaker had repeatedly shown small all-electric concept cars, such as the i-Road, in the past.
While TMC is yet to reveal the specifics of the Ultra-compact BEV's powertrain and battery, it has confirmed that it can travel about 100km between charges, while a full charge takes about five hours when using a 200V charger.