Toyota has announced a limited launch in Japan of the “C+pod” ultra-compact battery electric vehicle (BEV) to corporate users, local governments and other organizations that have been exploring new options to drive the popularization of BEVs.
Toyota says it plans to further promote the establishment of systems for popularizing BEVs, including development of new business models, and to conduct a full-scale launch including to individual customers by 2022. It is also planned that the limited initial launch will demonstrate new services that can only be provided by BEVs.
The new C+pod is described by Toyota as an environmentally-friendly two-seater BEV designed as a mobility option that improves per-person energy efficiency. In addition to short-distance daily use, the C+pod is also aimed at corporate users visiting customers on a regular basis, and at users in urban or mountainous communities needing safe, unrestricted, and environmentally-friendly transportation options.
To drive further popularization of BEVs, Toyota says it is expanding its product lineup and forming open collaborations as it works to build new business models. In Japan, it is focusing initially on the C+pod, Walking Area BEVs, and Toyota i-Road, with more than 200 corporate and local government partners currently involved in exploring new transportation models.
As one of these collaborative efforts, the launch of the C+pod will also demonstrate new services specific to BEVs. One of those services is Toyota Green Charge, a joint project developed with Chubu Electric Power Miraiz Co., Inc. to offer a single point of contact for corporations seeking support when constructing optimal charging facilities or developing electricity plans for BEVs, such as CO2-free power. The service will be jointly implemented in collaboration with Chubu Electric Power Miraiz, Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc., and TEPCO Energy Partner, Inc. Other services in planning include the Electric-vehicle sharing service that combines tourist information with the “Toyota Share” car-sharing service to promote sightseeing and excursions.