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Tokyo show: Toyota charges up Ultra-compact BEV

Ultra-compact BEV to join Toyota’s zero-tailpipe-emissions model line-up in Japan

18 Oct 2019

TOYOTA Motor Corporation (TMC) has revealed the latest member of its emerging family of zero-tailpipe-emissions production models, the Ultra-compact battery-electric vehicle (BEV) that is set for a release in native Japan late next year.


Speaking to GoAuto, Toyota Australia senior PR specialist for passenger vehicles James Wang said that the company has “no plans to bring the Ultra-compact BEV to Australia at this point”.


As its name suggests, the Ultra-compact BEV is diminutive in stature, measuring 2490mm long, 1290mm wide and 1550mm tall. As such, the two-seater shapes up as an on-paper rival for the French-built Smart EQ Fortwo.


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. Top speed is 60km/h.


According to TMC development chief Akihiro Yanaka, the Ultra-compact BEV “is a next-generation mobility solution designed to cover short distances while limiting impact on the environment”.


“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,” he said.


“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.”


TMC says the Ultra-compact BEV’s 2020 launch will coincide with the introduction of its new business model that aims to promote the mass adoption of zero-tailpipe-emissions models.


This endeavour will include the examination of every step in a battery’s life, including its manufacture, sale, resale or reuse, and recycling.


To maximise the value of used batteries in the near term, TMC will expand leasing initiatives that are designed to recapture them for evaluation and reuse – as appropriate – in used vehicles or as service parts. Non-automotive applications are also possible.


As reported in June, TMC has revised its electrification plans, with “at least” 10 BEVs to go on sale globally by “the early 2020s”. It is also developing peripheral services for such models, such as recharging stations and insurance.


The automotive heavyweight predicts that electrified vehicles (including battery-electric, hybrid and fuel-cell models) will account for at least 50 per cent of its global sales in 2025, which is five years earlier than what it projected in 2017.


The Ultra-compact BEV will make its international debut at the Tokyo motor show next week, with test rides available along a 1.5km path.


A concept version of the Ultra-compact BEV will also be on display. It is designed for business applications, serving as a mobile office with three modes that support travelling, working and taking breaks.

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