Toyota Eases into EVs with an Ultra-Compact Two-Seater for Japan

  • The ultra-compact Toyota C+pod EV is currently available for corporate and local government fleets.
  • Toyota plans to offer the 12-horsepower two-seater to consumers before 2022.
  • Totota recently announced plans to bring 60 new electrified vehicles to market by 2025 including a solid-state-battery–powered EV.

    Toyota has long had the technology for battery electric vehicles. In addition to its highly successful hybrid vehicles, the automaker built and sold two generations of the very limited edition RAV4 EV back in 1997. Still, the company has been slow to adopt EVs for the masses. Even the automaker’s president, Akio Toyoda, believes that electric vehicles are overhyped and has warned against countries banning gas-powered automobiles.

    But that hasn’t stopped Toyota from announcing the diminutive C+pod for Japan. This tiny EV will initially be available for corporate and local government fleets during its current limited launch. Those looking for an eensy-weensy EV to cruise around Tokyo don’t fret, as the automaker intends to offer the vehicle to consumers by 2022.

    According to Toyota, the electric C+pod will have a WLTP range of 93 miles thanks to a 9.1-kWh battery pack. Its single 12-horsepower electric motor will push the tiny vehicle to a top speed of 37 mph, so don’t expect to see it on the freeway anytime soon. It’s smaller than a Smart Fortwo and lines up more with the weird but enjoyable Renault Twizy.

    toyota cpod interior

    Toyota

    The C+pod is part of Toyota’s desire to expand partnerships in the mobility and electrification world. In addition to making the C+pod a go-to vehicle for car-sharing programs in a dense urban environments, it’s also launching Toyota Green Charge with Chubu Electric Power Miraiz Co. to create a single point of contact for corporations to adding electric charging infrastructure.

    Toyota has stated recently that it intends to introduce 60 new electrified vehicles by 2025 that include EV, hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. We’re also expecting the company to unveil an electric SUV for Europe in 2021. The Japanese automaker has also stated that it intends to introduce a vehicle equipped with a solid-state battery sometime in the first half of this decade.

    So while its leadership isn’t keen on EV regulations, Toyota is making inroads to getting EVs on the road—even diminutive ones.

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