Tokyo Motor Show: Daihatsu Presents Three Super-Cute Electric Prototypes

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Daihatsu is the oldest Japanese automaker, but I know it mainly as the one who makes all the little kei cars – you know, the “light motor vehicles” with engines up to 660cc and 64HP that go 60mph with a strong tailwind and get 50mpg running around heavy city traffic. I used to have a Daihatsu Mira, and while I loved that it got awesome mileage and was tiny enough to park anywhere (no, really), I was not fond of the way it looked. Not so Daihatsu’s new concept cars debuting at the Tokyo Motor Show next month – in fact, they look pretty awesome.

The three new concepts expected to be shown off at the 42nd Tokyo Motor Show are the mini sports car “DX” (pronounced D-Cross), the two-seater electric PICO, and the zero-emission FC SHOWCASE (where “sho” also means dealership in Japanese – apparently Daihatsu likes puns).

The DX – Sporty and Green

Starting with the DX (pictured above) – it somehow calls the Mini Cooper to mind, although that’s probably not intentional since Daihatsu is aiming for a unique and aggressive design. The body is made of resin and there are a number of options available; customer customization is one of the little car’s strong points. It sports a 2-cylinder direct injection turbo engine – Daihatsu hopes for both great performance and good mileage.  It’s not the first green sports car to show up, but does look promising.

The PICO – Electric, Seats 2

The PICO seats two and is totally electric. It classifies as a kei car (low annual tax if you keep one in Japan!), but is supposed to fill a gap between kei cars and two-wheeled vehicles. Daihatsu’s target market is businesses delivering locally as well as the ever-increasing domestic population of elderly citizens. The PICO has a low flat floor to make getting in and out as easy as possible – it’s definitely one of the more user-friendly of the various two-wheeled electric vehicles slated to hit the market.

The FC SHOWCASE – No Idea, But I Like It

The FC SHOWCASE is one of the more interesting concepts to be presented. Like a number of Japanese vehicles,  it’s completely rectangular and also completely tiny at 134” long, 58” wide, and 75” tall. It also uses Daihatsu’s proprietary zero-precious-metal liquid fuel cell technology. Not using precious metals in the fuel cells reduces the resources problem considerably and also reduces the overall cost of the vehicle. The fuel cells are even high density, meaning the FC should have a pretty significant range (although Daihatsu has not told us what they think it will be).

Any of these look fun to you? I’d take all of them for a test drive, but let us know what you think in the comments, below the gallery.

Source | Gallery: Green Car View

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7 thoughts on “Tokyo Motor Show: Daihatsu Presents Three Super-Cute Electric Prototypes

  • Sirs,

    How to expedite battery vehicles use for common people?

    Oil Cost and pollution increases day and night.

    With use of electronics in EV car can be without any mechanical things like steering, breaks, hydrowlics…..this will simplify the manufacturing and reduce the cost and wieght. inturns will benefit roads, noice polution ect…

    I pray for fast track to electric vehicals.

    P. B. Panchal.

    • Battery prices must come down.

      Batteries are not expensive because they are full of expensive materials, nor do they require large amounts of skilled labor to produce. Batteries are only expensive (best I can tell) because we don’t have enough fully automated factories cranking them out.

      Batteries and electric motors should be considerably cheaper than internal combustion engines along with their fuel, cooling and exhaust systems. The platinum in a gas vehicle catalytic converter costs more than the lithium in a Nissan Leaf Volt’s batteries.

      Once we get past the initial high cost of EVs, they should become cheaper to purchase and much cheaper to drive than gas/diesel powered cars.

      Right now we’ve got more than six new battery plants opening in the US. We’re going to have more capacity than the market will demand and that should lead to rapidly falling battery prices.

  • How is the electricity made to charge these car batteries? Coal fired electro power plants.

    • Coal used to provide about 54% of our electricity. It’s now down to 44% and we have plans to take it to 0%.

      Carry that bad news back to your fossil fuel overlords.

  • Pingback: Lixil Building EVs AND Houses | CleanTechnica

  • Oh boy, how I hate it the way these images are distorted on cleantechnica. Ans btw how videos are clipped.

    • i’ve been ensuring that all our videos are only 500 pixels wide now.

      with the images, some of them have been squished since we changed from a 600-wide column to a 500-wide column. fixing these, but don’t have someone on board who can conduct a mass fix yet.

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