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Toyota to Launch New "C+pod" Battery Electric Vehicle in a Race With Tesla

A new ultra-compact battery electric vehicle will be launched soon by Toyota, in a race with Tesla for compact electric vehicle dominance. Could this make its way to the United States?


Furthering its worldwide commitment to hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles, Toyota is introducing an ultra-compact battery electric vehicle.

This new C+pod will be initially sold for 2021 in Japan only in limited quantities for government and business use. The current plan is to release C+pod to the general public for 2022.

2021 Toyota C+Pod Super White profile end

The adoption of battery electric vehicles (BEV) falls in line with Toyota’s lofty goals of manufacturing a minimum of 25% of its sales as hybrid or alternative fuel vehicles by the year 2025. A similar gauntlet has been thrown down to make these alternative powerplant options available for every Toyota model sold. You know, since Tesla became a household name, Toyota is a matter of "when," not "if" when it comes to electric cars.

Folks, we are talking about the possibility of a Tundra Hybrid, 4Runner Hybrid and even a Tacoma Hybrid too.

With the incredible demand of popular U.S. models like RAV4 Prime, Prius Prime and RAV4 Hybrid, this got me thinking about this C+pod even more.

Could this model, in spite of its small size, be successful in the United States?

Toyota C+pod specifications

2021 Toyota C+Pod Cyan profile view front end

C+pod is an environmentally friendly two-seater vehicle ideal for specific uses. I can imagine this would be useful for businesses who travel to meet with clients, along with people who have short commutes in both city and mountainous areas.

2021 Toyota C+Pod interior front seats

Picture a smaller vehicle with terrific agility and maneuverability. C+pod is just over 8 feet long, 4 feet wide and 5 feet tall. Turning radius is approximately 12.7 feet. Crazy turning ability.

C+pod can travel approximately 93 miles on one battery electric charge. This makes it effective for short-to-medium business or personal commutes and trips.

Charging can be done both in your home and at available charging stations. Depending on whether you use 100V/6A or 200V/16A, charging times can be as short as 5 hours or as long as 16 hours.

2021 Toyota C+Pod Super White charging

Vehicle weight is approximately 1,521 pounds.

Torque News reporter Armen Hareyan created a video detailing this new battery electric vehicle. You can see it here or by following Torque News YouTube channel.

Would this Toyota C+pod work in US?

2021 Toyota C+Pod Super White profile view

This is the ultimate question. There seem to be cycles where consumers go from preferring gas-efficient vehicles to more trucks and SUVs (and back to mpg, of course). Currently SUVs are the hot picks, and many manufactures are discontinuing once-popular sedan models and entire product lines.

Of course, there are many popular Toyota models that accomplish both space/versatility and great gas mileage (see 2021 Toyota Sienna Hybrid and Highlander Hybrid).

I feel a sub-compact or ultra-compact option would work in the United States, but for very specific purposes. For example, people who commute daily to work and would only require themselves or one other passenger.

Time for your thoughts on Toyota C+pod

2021 Toyota C+Pod Super White profile back end

What do you think of this new C+pod? Could you see a use for it in the United States and how would you utilize it?

Of current Toyota car and truck and SUV models, what ones would you like to see offer a battery electric vehicle option?

Are you a fan or owner of 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime or RAV4 Hybrid? How has your experience been with Toyota RAV4 Hybrid or RAV4 Prime so far?

Thanks for reading everyone. See you next story when I demonstrate Toyota Lane Tracing Assist.

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Mart Shearer (not verified)    December 27, 2020 - 12:54AM

Did the smart car succeed in the US? Toyota is trying to compete with GM/Willing in the Chinese market.

Joe Real (not verified)    December 27, 2020 - 11:26AM

They aren’t racing with Tesla but with SAIC-GM’s Wuling cars!

Toyota seems to be having cost of production issues with their batteries. They’ve limited the production of their prime models when there’s very strong demand, perhaps to minimize losses.

Joshua Rosen (not verified)    December 27, 2020 - 11:51AM

Are you daft? They won't bring that POS to the US, no one in their right mind would buy it. There is no market for tiny cars in the US. Combine that with it's miniscule range and it's unsellable outside of Asia. In the EU there are lots of choices for small EVs that are much better. The new Fiat 500 has 199 miles of range, a car with 94 miles of range would have been competitive in 2012 but not 2022.

Paul (not verified)    December 27, 2020 - 4:21PM

This looks to be the size (and almost the form of?) a Smartfor Two, which was really made by Mercedes Benz. Did that "succeed" in the U.S.? I don't think so. Americans, unfortunately, have an illogical and insatiable appetite for big, gas-guzzling SUV or "CUV." And a 93-mile range? EVERYONE knows that kind of battery range is NO WHERE NEAR enough--even though study after study shows that a clear majority of the drivers barely go over 40 miles a day. No, until car makers develop a $20,000 barn-sized SUV that can go 1,000 miles on a charge, EVs will never succeed in the U.S. EVERYONE knows that. <<rolling eyes>>