Toyota has launched an all new micro electric vehicle, named C+Pod in Japan
It happens to be an ‘Ultra Compact’ electric vehicle with a seating capacity for 2 adults. To begin with, sales will be restricted to local government bodies, corporate users and other organizations which are planning to include electric vehicles in their fleets. A full-scale launch for the masses is scheduled to take place in 2022.
The Toyota C+Pod measures just 2,490 mm in length, 1,550 mm in height and 1,290 mm in width. Thanks to its compact dimensions, it has a turning radius of just 3.9 meters making it a perfect choice for heavily packed cities like Tokyo.
It derives power from a 9.06 kWh lithium ion battery which has been mounted under the floor. The battery powers an electric motor which has been installed on the rear axle and delivers a total output of 12 hp and 56 Nm of peak torque.
As per Toyota’s claims, the C+Pod has a range of 150 km (as per WLTC Class 1 mode testing conditions) and can be charged to its full capacity in 5 hours on a 200V/16A power supply. On the standard 100V/6A power supply, the charging time goes up to 16 hours.
Pricing and Trims
The C+Pod has been launched in 2 variants, X and G. The X trim is priced at 1.65 million Yen (approx INR 11.75 lakhs) while the G trim is priced at 1.71 million Yen (approx INR 12.15 lakhs). The X trim weighs 670 kg while the G trim lands up weighing 690 kgs. The light weight of the vehicle can be attributed to the exterior panels which have been made out of plastic.
Toyota has designed the structure of C+Pod in such a way that it absorbs impact and offers pedestrian protection too. The pre-collision system which has been installed on the C+Pod ensures that the chances of a collision with other cyclists, pedestrians, vehicles are lowered to the maximum extent possible.
C+Pod and Indian Market
Currently in India, Toyota has been selling more rebadged Maruti cars than cars from its very own product portfolio. In the last 1-1.5 years, we have seen the Indian EV market slowly maturing with good practical models like Nexon EV, ZS EV and Kona Electric getting launched in the last 18 months or so.
Brining in the C+Pod or an iteration of it could work well for Toyota as currently there is no such model available in the Indian EV market. A model like the C+Pod could work well for last-mile mobility and even for environmentally conscious regular commuters looking for their second or third car/vehicle which can be used for short trips around the town.
Its size and compactness could help the vehicle to become popular, however, we don’t think Toyota currently has any such plans to bring in an ultra compact EV to India. But, such a product, if priced aptly could help Toyota with some healthy sales numbers in the future. MG Motor India had showcased a similar small sized 2 seater electric car at the 2020 Auto Expo – called the MG e200.