Toyota’s electric ambitions came on more slowly than most, as its outgoing CEO felt that a complete shift to exclusive electrification was the wrong path forward. The automaker has come around, however, and has shown several electric concepts in recent times. In between other new models at this year’s Japan Mobility Show, Toyota displayed a handful of funky electric concepts, though they likely won’t be showing up on a dealer’s lot anytime soon.
Where Toyota’s EPU and Land Cruiser Se concepts previewed a futuristic electric truck and SUV, the Land Hopper is a sort of electric bicycle with a foldable design the automaker said lets owners stow it in their vehicle’s trunk before longer trips. It does not require a driver’s license, and its wheels can operate together to raise and lower the height.
Toyota’s JUU concept is a futuristic vision of mobility for wheelchair users with a range of cool tricks to help people get around. It can climb steps up to 16 cm tall and features a retractable tail that swings out to prevent tipping. Toyota said it’s also working on automation software that would enable the chair to load and unload itself from a vehicle.
The automaker also displayed a space mobility concept buggy-type vehicle that can climb boulders almost 20 inches tall and climb 25-degree slopes. Each of its wheels has an independent drive system, and Toyota said it’s designed to operate in the most punishing environments.
While cool, these concepts are probably not destined for sale. Like other automakers, Toyota creates design projects to feel out certain technologies and components, and these funky mobility experiments will help it with new EV development. Toyota’s first mass-market EV, the bZ4X, has been on sale for a while in the U.S., and it’s expected to release another SUV that slots into the lineup beneath it.