The Olympics and Paralympics are scheduled to be held in Tokyo next year. The official automaker and fleet provider Toyota has planned a massive deployment of battery-electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles. The company claims that it will provide 3,700 mobility products or vehicles for the Olympics, in which 90 percent of will be electrified.
This means that either battery-electric, hydrogen-powered, or even gas-electric hybrid might be present at the event. Out of 3,700 vehicles, 850 will be battery-electric and 500 will be fuel-cell electric. Moreover, the vehicles will come in all shapes and sizes from cars, buses, shuttles, scooters, to mopeds. The company sees the event of Olympics as its big chance to showcase its lineup of experimental and alternative fuel-powered machines.
The company’s main agenda is the reduction of carbon emission and of course not forget to mention but Toyota is the pioneer in the field of alternative fuels, with the release of the hybrid Prius in 1997. Since that time, the company has remained behind in the race to release premium and mass-market electric vehicles, which later overtaken by Tesla, GM, Nissan, and others. Also, the automaker said, it will release six new EVs starting in 2020 and stretching through to 2025, it automatically made Olympics a grand stage to launch this lineup.
Apart from this, Toyota plans to roll out two of its previously unveiled concept vehicles. First is the e-Palette and the second one is the Concept-i. It was initially revealed at CES 2018. Toyota envisions these e-palettes are serving a variety of functions, from typical mobility services like ride-sharing and carpooling, to less typical purposes like serving as a mobile office and retail space, medical clinics, hotel rooms, and more.
However, at the olympics, the e-palettes would be showing support transportation need of the staff members and athletes along with the dozen or more running on a continuous loop within the Olympic and Paralympic Village. Toyota also claims the vehicles would be at level 4 autonomous which means they won’t require a human driver in the car but need a confined specific geographic area.
Now talking about the Concept-i which first unveiled at the CES 2017, it will take the stage for Toyota at the Olympics event as an operating vehicle in the torch relay and the lead car in the marathon. It will serve as both a platform for Toyota to showcase its work with artificial intelligence, courtesy of the in-vehicle AI assistant Yui and its work in highly automated driving.
At the event, there is also going to be scooters of all stripes and sizes. The company is planning to roll out 300 standing electric scooters, as well as an unspecified number of sitting-type and wheelchair-link personal mobility devices. Tokyo is busy to secure enough buses to meet the requirement of Olympics games with the organizing committee that would need approximately 2,000 buses a day for the arenas around the city.