Auto Express

Toyota’s new electric van concept is inspired by shipping containers

Toyota has previewed another concept it will be showcasing at this month’s Tokyo motor show, a highly customisable electric van called the Kayoibako.

The company says the name refers to “configurable shipping containers for safely and efficiently transporting parts and products between facilities, sized to eliminate waste and able to meet diverse needs with changeable inserts”.

It’s just a concept for now, and Toyota calls it a proposal for mobility and “a car that can respond to both social issues and the needs of individuals”.

Like a shipping container, the Kayoibako is boxy. The wheels are also pushed out to the far corners of the vehicle.

It measures just 3990mm long, 1790mm wide, 1855mm tall and on a 2800mm wheelbase. That puts it between a Yaris and a Yaris Cross in terms of overall length.

The cargo bay is 3127mm long (2121mm long behind the driver), 1485mm wide, and 1437mm tall.

Up front, it features a transparent panel where the front grille would traditionally be placed, bookended by L-shaped LED headlights.

The side profile features two slim windows towards the back of the cargo area as well as sliding doors on either side. A majority of the roof appears to be glass or some transparent material.

At the rear, the Kayoibako has vertical tail lights with a slim rectangular windscreen and backlit Toyota wordmark.

Toyota says the Kayoibako will offer an “ultra-expandable design” that allows drivers to customise their vans to their needs.

For example, commercial customers can install display shelving to create a mobile shopfront or add more seating to turn it into a shuttle bus.

It can also be configured for easy wheelchair access.

Up front, there’s just one seat, as well as a full-width display, plus a separate touchscreen to the side of the steering yoke.

There’s really no centre stack to speak of, with the touchscreen mounted on a pod of sorts that also includes the demister controls, power and hazard buttons, a single air vent, and USB-C outlets.

Toyota claims the concept features hardware and software that is customisable for the driver depending on their needs. It says it can function as part of “smart grids and other intelligent social systems”.

The concept will be on display at the Tokyo motor show, which runs from October 26 to November 5.

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