Next-generation EVs in spotlight at Japan Mobility Show


A wide variety of vehicles from a sleek crossover sport-utility and an upscale autonomous minivan to a mini recreational car, all powered by batteries, will be among the eye-popping concepts at the Tokyo auto show this week when a record 475 companies participate in the event.

The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, the event organizer, calls this year’s show — the first since 2019 following a pandemic-induced hiatus — the Japan Mobility Show to highlight a variety of advanced technologies beyond the auto industry, such as robots and drones.

Japanese carmakers, seen as laggards in the all-electric vehicle market, are determined to play catch-up with overseas rivals such as Tesla Inc. Among major EV makers, Chinese leader BYD Co will take part in the Tokyo auto show for the first time.

The show will be open to the media for two days from Wednesday and to the public from Oct 28 to Nov 5. Here is a glimpse of what Japan’s top three carmakers are featuring this year.

Toyota Motor Corp will display the Kayoibako EV concept. The microvan with a panoramic glass roof allows owners to customize its interior for diverse purposes, ranging from outdoor recreation to delivery services and even as a food truck.

The world’s largest carmaker will also exhibit a next-generation EV concept before its rollout in 2026 as part of its push in the battery-powered vehicle market to meet a goal of selling 1.5 million EVs in 2026.

Honda Motor Co, Japan’s No. 2 automaker, will show the Honda CI-MEV. The two-seater ultracompact EV, equipped with autonomous driving technology, is designed for customers in rural areas where few public transportation services are available.

The Cruise Origin, a self-driving EV jointly developed with General Motors Co and its Cruise LLC subsidiary, will also be on display. Honda, GM and Cruise plan to use the new vehicle for a driverless taxi service to be launched in Tokyo in 2026.

Nissan’s Hyper Tourer concept electric vehicle Photo: Nissan Motor Co

At the Nissan Motor Co booth, the Nissan Hyper Tourer, an all-electric luxury minivan, will be unveiled.

Designed to run on all-solid-state batteries, the fully autonomous driving vehicle is equipped with sensors to discern the driver’s feelings and physical state so it can control air conditioning and lighting automatically.

The front seats can swivel 360 degrees to allow front and rear seat passengers to have face-to-face interactions while in self-driving mode.

The automaker will also introduce the Nissan Hyper Punk, a concept EV designed to lure Generation Z customers. The crossover SUV features multifaceted and polygonal surfaces that change colors depending on the angle of viewers. It uses AI to convert the scenery around the car to manga-style imagery to show on the dashboard screen.


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