Small Yet Mighty: Toyota C+pod EV Gets Public Release In Japan

The little EV that could, the Toyota C+pod EV has gone on sale in Japan, now available to just about everyone after releasing to select buyers a year ago.

Toyota C+pod Pro on grey background
The mini EV here is powered by a 9.06 kWh lithium-ion battery © Credit to Toyota

There’s no better head-turner in the world of electric vehicles than the C+pod from Toyota. Sure, Tesla’s Cyberquad has its quirks, but less is often more. And if you look up the word ‘less’ in the dictionary, there’s probably a picture of this EV there given its small stature.

Toyota initially released the C+pod, an ultra-compact battery electric vehicle in Japan last year, only it wasn’t available to the general public at release. Up until recently, the vehicle was offered exclusively to corporate users, local governments and other organisations.

That was the case until December 23rd. Now members of the Japanese public can buy the little EV that could with prices as low as 1,650,000 yen — or £10,615 (roughly).

There is a catch in that customers won’t be able to purchase the Toyota C+pod outright. So how do you ride away in this pocket-size EV? That’s easy, you lease it.

That’s right, lease contracts will need to be taken out from Toyota vehicle dealers and Toyota Rental & Lease agencies across Japan to drive this one — a decision that is sure to annoy some, despite the automaker having sustainable intentions.

Toyota C+pod Pro interior Ultra Compact: The interior of the Toyota C+pod © Credit to Toyota

Toyota says that the lease agreement will allow residents to drive the C+pod, “ensuring comprehensive vehicle collection with proactive 3R (reduce, re-use, recycle) initiatives for the onboard batteries.” The decision is fuelled by the automaker’s goal of achieving a carbon neutral mobility society.

Okay, it’s time to talk spec, although, the hint is in its description, and it’s known as an ‘ultra compact EV’ for a reason.

The C+pod is a BEV, measuring 2,490 mm in length (98 inches), 1,290 in width (50.8 inches), and 1,550 mm in height (61 inches). It seats two, and is one of the smallest electric vehicles we’ve seen thus far — a sure-fire contender for some sort of world record.

Range-wise, the vehicle can cover 93 miles total between charges, the only kicker is it wasn’t designed to drive on highways, with Toyota seeing it more as an everyday urban commuter, fit for business folk that don’t transport many people from A to B.

The vehicle has already hit the ground running amongst certain drivers according to Toyota, highlighting its “ease of handling, environmental friendliness, and full range of safety and security features despite its ultra-compact body.”

Is the Toyota C+pod a vehicle you’d drive around in? Sure, it is limited to city travel, but it does have plenty of benefits. We’d get behind the wheel of this one, for sure, then again, we’d drive most electric vehicles if we had the chance.

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