Toyota just unveiled a tiny electric vehicle that measures just 98 inches in length. According to the Japanese automaker, this production-ready electric car which, for now is called as Ultra Compact BEV, will break covers at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show next week and will go on sale as early as 2020.
This tiny two-seater EV has been designed primarily for the elderly and newly licensed drivers, as well as to cater to those who do business in other cities where they need a simple and efficient way to get in touch with customers. According to Akihiro Yanaka, the EV’s Head of Development:
“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.”
Measuring only 98 inches long, 50.8 inches wide, and 61 inches tall, the Ultra-Compact BEV is actually 8 inch shorter and 14.7 inch narrower than the Smart ForTwo EQ while being 0.2 inch lower as well. Its remarkably small size makes it ideal for the urban maze especially in congested cities like Tokyo.
The Ultra-Compact BEV promises to offer an “extremely short turning radius”, while offering a claimed drive range of 100km in a single charge. Top speed is 60km/h while it will take around 5 hours to recharge the battery via 220v power outlet.
There are two versions available, one envisioned for personal use and a black one for business purposes that offers a configurable interior depending on the selected mode (drive, office, relax), offering amenities like a fold-out table to work while on the go.
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 “scrutinize every step of the battery’s lifecycle, from manufacture through sale, resale or re-use to recycling, to maximize its value”, in response to widespread criticism that battery costs make even the most affordable EVs much more expensive than their conventionally fuelled counterparts.
Toyota will display the Ultra-Compact BEV along with an array of other electric vehicles and concepts at the upcoming 2019 Tokyo Motor Show.