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05.10.2015
Japan
Sector: LPG

Toyota JPN Taxi - dreams come true

Toyota JPN Taxi - dreams come true © Toyota

At least in Japan they do. Some time ago Toyota presented a concept for a dedicated taxi featuring LPG-electric powertrain. Although a bit far out, the car will actually hit the market in 2018 – early enough to permeate 30% of Tokyo's taxi fleets by 2020.
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Toyota JPN Taxi Concept© ToyotaAs Chandler Bing would say: Could access to the cabin BE any better?

The JPN Taxi concept debuted during the Tokyo Motor Show in 2013 and many of those who saw it thought that – like most of the wacky concepts presented there – it will never go past the designer's dream stage. That would be a shame, though – even though the taxi fleet in Japan's capital uses LPG autogas as fuel, it's been based on subsequent generations of the Toyota Crown since the 1970s and although the cars are next to indestructible, they're not as versatile and well-prepared for their role as dedicated cabs, such as the famous black cab of London. The JPN Taxi is about to change that.

The car's hybrid powertrain is no surprise since Toyota is the world's biggest manufacturer of combustion-electric vehicles, but the catch is obviously in the autogas replacing petrol as fuel for the piston engine. The JPN Taxi may use Prius' entire hybrid system, but thanks to LPG it will be even cleaner, especially that taxis are used far more intensively than private cars. It will sell for approx. 3 million yen (some 25 thousand dollars) and taxi companies will ask the government for subsidies and tax reductions to finance the new people carriers. After all, even replacing 1/3 of the current fleet means 10 thousand cars will have to be purchased.

There's also a reason why the replacement process must end before 2020. That's when Olympic Games will be held in Tokyo, so the Japanese capital wants to be ready in terms of public transport fleet, particularly as far as capability to carry disabled passengers is concerned. The JPN Taxi (at least the 2013 concept version, pictured) features sliding doors on both sides and a tall roof and we expect the production version to also have an entry ramp for wheelchairs. We'll share more information as it arrives.



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Robert Markowski
source: Green Fleet Magazine, Toyota



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