Toyota has launched its all-new Aqua model in Japan.

It follows the first-generation Aqua that was made at the Iwate Plant of Toyota Motor East Japan, Inc. (then, Kanto Auto Works, Ltd.) in 2011, the year of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

With a “desire to greatly increase hybrid-vehicle familiarity”, as well as in pursuit of “creating a compact car for the next 10 years”, the Aqua combined the practicality of a compact car with the fuel efficiency and quietness of a hybrid electric-only model – at an affordable price, Toyota maintains. Since its launch, more than 1.87 million units of the Aqua have been sold, contributing to a claimed overall reduction in CO2 of approximately 12.4 million tonnes.

Toyota maintains that the new Aqua is approximately 20% more fuel efficient than the previous generation model.

Toyota says the new Aqua is the world’s first vehicle to use a high-output bipolar nickel-hydrogen battery as an electric drive battery. Compared to the nickel-hydrogen battery equipped to the previous-generation Aqua, the new battery realizes approximately twice the output; it also delivers improved accelerator responsiveness, and enables smooth, linear acceleration from low speeds. In addition, the speed range at which the all-new Aqua can operate on electrical power alone has been expanded, allowing the vehicle to run on electricity alone, without engaging the engine, in a wide variety of urban scenarios, it is claimed.

The Aqua also comes with a 100-volt (alternating current)/1,500-watt accessory power outlet and an emergency power supply mode that allows electricity to be drawn from the vehicle for external use during blackouts.

Toyota’s latest Aqua is also offered via the KINTO ONE car subscription service; customers can sign up either online or at Toyota dealers. The Aqua is available from 19,580 yen per month (including tax) when using the seven-year lease plan.