Toyota to begin work on budget-priced small electric cars – report - SUV VEHICLE

Toyota to begin work on budget-priced small electric cars – report

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Following a well-publicised safety scandal at the company, Toyota’s Daihatsu brand has announced it will begin work on a small electric van.

Toyota’s small-car division will soon focus its attention on bringing a low-cost electric vehicle to market in Japan.

According to a report from Automotive News, Japan’s Daihatsu – which designs and builds pint-sized city cars for Toyota – has announced it will “take on the challenge of mini [electric vehicles]”.

It comes after troubling times for Daihatsu, with the brand found to have rigged safety tests for many of its small cars – resulting in a stop-sale and the company’s top brass eventually stepping down.

The city-car segment is hugely popular in Japan – where they are known as ‘kei’ cars – thanks to cheaper registration, low running costs, and their ease of parking.

But while rivals Nissan, Mitsubishi, and Honda have all been developing electric versions, Daihatsu has yet to enter the market.

MORE: Three-star safety could pull plug on Mitsubishi’s budget-priced electric car for Australia

As reported by Drive, Mitsubishi is currently considering bringing its eK X EV electric city car to Australia.

However, Daihatsu says it will initially concentrate on a small commercial electric vehicle, and doesn’t have a timeline on when it will launch a battery-powered passenger city car.

While the plan now appears to have since been suspended, Daihatsu announced in 2021 – prior to the safety scandal – it was partnering with Suzuki and parent company Toyota to jointly develop and build small electric cars.

The newly-announced commercial van platform could eventually be used to launch several electric city cars for Daihatsu and Toyota across global markets, according to the report.

The post Toyota to begin work on budget-priced small electric cars – report appeared first on Drive.

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