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The Toyota C+pod is a new ultra-compact battery electric vehicle (BEV), a two-seat mobility solution designed primarily for short-distance journeys in urban environments.

Launched at the end of 2020, the C+pod is initially being trialed by corporate users and local governments in Japan, with full-scale production and widespread availability for individual customers scheduled by 2022.

The Toyota C+pod is being produced at Motomachi, the high-tech plant that also produces the new GR Yaris hot hatch and hydrogen fuel cell Mirai.

Toyota C+pod: the basics

The C+pod is now the most city-friendly and maneuverable car in Toyota’s global line-up, measuring just 2,490mm long, 1,290mm wide, and 1,550mm tall, with a turning radius of 3.9 meters. As a reference, the current Toyota Aygo is 3,455mm, 1,615mm, and 1,460mm respectively, and has a turning radius of 5.1 meters.

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Powered by a 9.06kWh lithium-ion battery located under the floor, the rigid yet lightweight body offers a flat, easily accessible interior without a sill to climb over. A rear-mounted permanent magnet electric motor powers the rear wheels, its rated output of 2.6kW (9.2kW max) delivering brisk yet stable driving performance with a cruising range of up to 150km and a maximum speed of 60km/h.

Toyota C+pod: convenience

The C+pod is designed for convenient home-charging through a standard wall plug. A full charge can be administered in as little as five hours through a single-phase 200V/16A power supply. But the vehicle can also be used as its own power source, supplying up to 1,500W to support electrical devices during power cuts or natural disasters.

Toyota C+pod: design

Modern, friendly, and simple in design, the C+pod is unmistakably a BEV yet is styled to retain many of the familiar cues of a city car. The exterior panels are made of plastic to help reduce weight (C+pod is approximately half the weight of an Aygo) and can be specified in a number of contrasting color schemes, while the interior is predominantly black with a white accent panel around the instrument cluster.

The interior measures 1,100mm across and provides simple accommodation for two adults sat side-by-side. Although this represents 200mm less wiggle room than that available in an Aygo, the uncluttered layout and flat, transmission-free floor creates a feeling of space that belies the car’s physical dimensions. All switches and drive controls are consolidated into the dashboard’s center console.

Toyota C+pod: safety equipment

Though small in size, the C+pod offers exceptional passenger safety – equivalent to that of a modern city car. Its body structure efficiently absorbs and disperses impact energy from all sides, while its outer body panels are designed to minimize pedestrian injury.

A full range of equipment is installed to support safe driving. This includes a standard pre-collision safety system that can identify vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists, plus intelligent clearance sonars linked to the brakes to help mitigate collisions with stationary objects during low-speed maneuvers.