Historically, automakers haven’t been fond of small electric cars capable of carrying one or two people.
Lately, everyone from General Motors to Renault has shown interest in low-speed city runabouts, leading some to even bring doorless, electric runabouts to market.
Unlike most automakers, Toyota has been making low-speed single-seat vehicles for mobility and industrial use for years through its subsidiary Toyota Auto Body Co.
Now it has unveiled its latest model, the 2012 Coms.
With a top speed of 60 kph (37 mph), the Coms isn’t designed for highway use. Instead, its small size enables it to move in and out of pedestrian areas and even into buildings, making it ideal for seniors with limited mobility.
With a full charge, the Coms can travel up to 31 miles on just 80 yen (98 cents) of electricity.
More importantly, unlike the previous generation Coms which took between 8 and 13 hours to charge, the newer version charges in about the same time as an iPad. That’s about two hours.
Its quick recharge time, tiny dimensions and simple controls is also expected to make the Coms a popular choice for large factories, where factory workers have to walk long distances between areas.
We love the Com's styling, and think it is significantly better designed than many mobility scooters or neighbourhood electric vehicles.