An electrified route to cleaner city mobility

Battery Electric Vehicles

Toyota to accelerate the popularization of battery electric vehicles with more than 10 models available in world markets by the early 2020s.

A key role for battery electric vehicles

We may be famous for our hybrid electric technology, but we know that petrol-electric hybrids are not the only solution we can use to help deliver better, more energy-efficient transport. We have also been developing battery electric vehicle technology as part of our future mobility roadmap. We believe battery electric vehicles are a great way to improve mobility and reduce pollution in urban areas. To maximise their potential, we need to encourage large numbers of people to adopt them, so we will be launching more than 10 battery electric vehicle models by the early 2020s. Our first target market will be China, after which we expect to roll them out to customers in Japan, India, the United States and Europe.

Our battery electric vehicles will help to sell more than 5.5 million electrified vehicles each year by around 2030.

Where our hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric and fuel cell electric vehicles are ideal for longer journeys, battery electric vehicles are best suited to short, low-speed journeys in towns and cities. Compact, zero-emissions vehicles powered by batteries that are quick to recharge can improve air quality and ease traffic congestion. They are quiet, easy to drive and have low running costs, making them perfect for commuting journeys or as delivery vehicles.

Main advantages
Real-world urban testing for battery electric vehicles

Toyota was a key contributor to an innovative partnership in Grenoble, France to test the benefits of battery electric vehicles in urban spaces. It provided battery electric vehicles and a car-sharing management system to Cité Lib by Ha:mo in a structured, three-year pilot project (2014-2017) to explore new possibilities in integrating private and public transport.

Cité Lib by Ha:mo was a partnership between Toyota, the City of Grenoble, the Grenoble-Alpes-Métropole metropolitan area, energy provider EDF, EDF’s affiliate Sodetrel and car sharing operator Cité Lib. As well as contributing a fleet of i-ROAD and COMS battery electric vehicles for the programme, Toyota also provided its Ha:mo (harmonious mobility) IT system to help people plan their journeys using different transport options, such as buses, trams, bicycles and walking.

At the conclusion of the project in 2017, the scheme had attracted more than 1,500 subscribers, more than 90% of whom were satisfied with the service and the way in which Toyota’s battery electric vehicles and Ha:mo system made for easier co-ordination with the city’s public transport. Around 70% of journeys were for city-centre shopping and leisure, with an average journey time and distance of 40 minutes and 5km. These findings are now being studied and interpreted to help with on-going research and development and the design of further car-sharing projects.

Cité Lib by Ha:mo builds an integrated network of accessible public transport options, including Toyota i-ROAD and COMS vehicles, buses, trains and trams, and provides a simple route planning tool to help people make easy, affordable and environmentally efficient journeys.

Cité Lib by Ha:mo Gallery

Toyota electric cars

Our i-ROAD and COMS show how clever design and electric vehicle technology can produce compact, eco-friendly vehicles that are ideal for travelling around town.

COMS : a practical electric car

Like i-ROAD, COMS is a compact electric vehicle designed for driving around town. It is more conventional in design, with a single seat and four wheels, and more like a regular car to drive. It was available to customers in the Cité Lib by Ha:mo project as an alternative to i-ROAD and comes with a small trunk that can carry shopping or overnight bags.

The COMS is manufactured by Toyota Auto Body and uses a traditional lead-acid type of battery.

The COMS has an autonomy of around 50km and is limited to 45km/h.
COMS has a handy trunk to carry shopping or small items of luggage.
The design is like a conventional car, with four wheels.
COMS has a single-seat cabin with roof and doors to protect the driver from the elements.
Small and easy to manoeuvre, COMS can be parked with ease and takes up little kerb space.
i-ROAD : agile two-seater electric car

The Toyota i-ROAD is designed with urban driving in mind. It is only slightly wider than a motor scooter, but it has a roof and two doors and is more stable, with two wheels at the front and one at the rear. It uses our new Active Lean technology, leaning as you turn into a bend, much like a downhill skier makes turns.

All you have to do is turn the steering wheel as in a normal car. It is powered by a rechargeable compact lithium-ion battery, which produces no emissions. There is an extra seat behind the driver, adding to the convenience of a vehicle that is easy, quiet and fun to drive.

Active Lean technology delivers a unique driving experience, with all the enjoyment of two-wheeler riding and exceptional manoeuvrability.
i-ROAD is not just useful, it is genuinely fun to drive.
Compact dimensions make it easy to park in tight spaces.
i-ROAD handles with agility, yet is perfectly stable.
Powered by electricity, i-ROAD produces zero emissions when driven.
i-ROAD design

The challenge for i-ROAD Chief Engineer Akihiro Yanaka was to create a vehicle that is slim, compact and highly manoeuvrable. He found inspiration in one of his favourite hobbies, skiing.

He said: “The driver and the vehicle need to move in synchronisation, so I thought about the most natural way of doing this and came up with skiing. I actually found a lot of inspiration from skiing in the way the i-ROAD driver feels in control, while having an enjoyable sensation of being at one with the vehicle. I believe it creates a new feeling in everyday movement.”

We are developing the potential and appeal of i-ROAD in the Open Road project, a year-long research and development exercise in Tokyo.

One hundred people are being given access to an i-ROAD for one month each to explore ideas and potential two specific areas: finding space-saving places where the i-ROAD can be parked and re-charged; and looking at how the vehicle can be customised with colourful 3D-printed parts to make each one personal to the owner. We are using feedback from the project to create new value for the future of i-ROAD, building on its core strengths to increase its user appeal and its practicality in urban areas.

i-ROAD Video Gallery

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