Toyota to launch first BEV at Tokyo Motor Show

23 October 2019

23 October 2019 Toyota is to use the Tokyo Motor Show to display its production-ready Ultra-compact BEV (battery electric vehicle) in preparation for a commercial launch in Japan in 2020. The vehicle is designed to provide short-distance mobility while limiting environmental impact and will be Toyota’s first production BEV. The company is submitting to the pressure of the automotive market after previously deciding to concentrate on its hybrid technology and hydrogen 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,’ said Akihiro Yanaka, Head of Development. ′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.’ Multiple uses The two-seater BEV is specifically designed to meet the daily mobility needs of customers who make regular, short-distance trips such as the elderly, newly licensed drivers, or business people visiting local customers. It can be driven a range of approximately 100km on a single charge, reach a maximum speed of 60km/h, and features an extremely short turning radius. Toyota is also pairing its planned 2020 launch of the Ultra-compact BEV with a new business model that aims to promote the wider adoption of battery electric vehicles in general. This includes examining every step of the battery’s life, from manufacture through sale, resale or re-use, and recycling to maximise its value. In the near term, Toyota will focus on expanded leasing initiatives designed to recapture used batteries for evaluation and re-use as appropriate in pre-owned vehicles, as service parts, or even in non-automobile applications. Toyota is also developing peripheral services for battery electric vehicles such as recharging stations and insurance. Road safety In addition, Toyota is exploring applications for its compact, short-distance BEVs beyond individual mobility. For example, the company says the Ultra-compact BEV, in particular, is well-suited to meet the mobility needs of municipalities working to create safe, unrestricted, and environmentally-friendly transportation options in urban or mountainous communities. 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. Bigger picture The carmaker is to ramp up its electric vehicle (EV) deployment plans, bringing forward its targets and aiming for solid-state battery development to be completed by next summer. Toyota is predicting a ′surge’ in demand for EVs and is, therefore, rearranging its plans to accommodate this. The carmaker has brought forward its goal of selling 5.5 million electrified vehicles by five years to 2025. This includes petrol-electric hybrids, plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs). Nearly one million of these sales is predicted to be from BEVs. Toyota’s Ultra-compact BEV will be exhibited at the FUTURE EXPO special exhibition of the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show from 24 October to 4 November.