Toyota unveils new electric vehicle concepts that will never go to production

After Toyota said it would be bringing electric vehicle prototypes to the 45th Tokyo Motor Show 2017 later this month, we had hope that there could be an early version of their first electric car that the automaker is expected to launch in 2020.

The company has now unveiled those concepts, three of them, ahead of the show and it doesn’t look like anything they would bring to production.

The 3 new vehicles are part of Toyota ‘Concept-i’ series. Earlier this year, they unveiled the i-Trill concept and just like the i-Trill, those new concepts are just as futuristic-looking.

Toyota says that the “theme” of the concepts is “Let’s move the world from here. Beyond the Motor”.

Each one of the 3 vehicles is powered by an electric drivetrain. The Concept-i is the closest one to a regular sedan, while the Concept-i RIDE is a small short-range urban vehicle. Toyota also unveiled a “last-mile vehicle” called Concept-i WALK

Here are the 3 vehicles:

Toyota says that the Concept-i, which sits 4 persons, features a range of ‘300 km’ (186 miles) and the 2-seater Concept-i RIDE has a range of “approximately 100-150 km” (62-93 miles).

Both vehicles are also built around autonomous driving capability and a suspiciously in-depth driver monitoring system:

“Concept-i estimates emotion and level of alertness by reading the driver’s expressions, actions, and tone of voice in a complex manner. It compares general information such as news on the web with information on individuals such as social media activity, GPS information, and conversation history in the car, and estimates the driver’s preferences based on re-occurring topics that arise.”

 The Concept-i RIDE is also specifically designed to support the storing and deployment of a wheelchair:

It could also fit Toyota’s new Concept-i Walk, which seems to be inappropriately named.

Toyota says that the last-mile vehicle was designed with a sharing service in mind, not unlike bike sharing services, which are now popular around cities all over the world.

The small vehicle has a range of “10-20 km” (6-12 miles), according to Toyota.

Electrek’s Take

Toyota is undoubtedly lagging behind the rest of the auto industry when it comes to all-electric vehicles and releasing concepts like those is certainly not going to help change that perception.

Concept vehicles are often disappointing because they rarely have anything to do with production cars, but we had some luck on that front lately, like with Honda’s latest EV concept, which the company says will serve as the basis for their second production all-electric vehicle in 2019.

It doesn’t look like any of those new Toyota concepts will have the same faith – though the automaker says that they plan to bring to production “some of the functions” displayed in those concepts in 2020.

2020 is when Toyota plans to launch its first all-electric vehicle.


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