Japanese carmaker Toyota is developing a new electric car for urban users. The ultra-compact battery electric vehicle (BEV) is a two-seater car and has been designed for short-distance travel with limited impact on the environment.
The company is hoping to launch the car by next year.
Target customers of the two-seater vehicles are those who regularly drive short distances, such as the elderly, salespeople who frequently visit same customers and newly licensed drivers.
Toyota Motor Corp promises a range of up to 100 km in a single charge, while the vehicle’s maximum speed is 60 kmph. The car also has a tight turning radius for easy use in urban conditions.
“We want to provide freedom of movement to people at all stages of life, specially a mobility solution that can support the elderly," said Akihiro Yanaka, head of development at the company. He claimed that the ultra-compact BEV would generate little or no sound or cause any environment pollution and use minimum road space to travel.
Along with launching the new car, Toyota is planning to adopt measures to encourage the use of battery-powered vehicles. As part of its new strategy, Toyota will scrutinise every step of the battery’s lifecycle, from manufacture through sale, resale or re-use to recycling, to maximise its value.
Though old batteries can be bought back, Toyota is planning to install used units in pre-owned vehicles, and if that is not possible in non-automotive power storage facilities or for spare part purpose.
Besides, the company, in order to boost EV sales, is developing its own EV recharging stations and plans to venture into insurance programme targeted at EVs.