This is the Toyota Thai Taxi, which is a concept for a LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) hybrid electric vehicle that is currently on display at the ongoing Bangkok International Motor Show (BIMS). Brought into Thailand to showcase the possibilities of alternative energy vehicles in the pursuit of carbon neutrality, the Thai Taxi is essentially a renamed version of the JPN Taxi that first made its debut in 2017, albeit wearing the country’s iconic green and yellow taxi livery.
The Japanese has made it clear that it will adopt a multi-technology approach to achieve carbon neutrality, and for the taxi industry, Toyota Motor Thailand is exploring the feasibility of assembling the Thai Taxi in the country.
There is good reason to consider this, as natural gas for vehicles (NGV) or compressed natural gas (CNG) in Thailand is typically cheaper than gasohol, while also leaving behind less emissions than other fuels. Existing infrastructure can also be updated to make NGV/CNG more widely available and the refuelling process is familiar.
Electric vehicles (EVs) are cleaner in terms of vehicle emissions, but fast charging technology has not reached the stage where a battery can be recharged fully in the time it takes to fill a LPG tank. For taxi drivers, time spent at the fuel pump is time not used to ferry passengers around and earn money. As such, an interim solution to reducing carbon emissions with the Thai Taxi makes sense.
The JPN Taxi, which the Thai Taxi is based, on features a 1NZ-FXP 1.5 litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine that put out 74 PS (72 hp or 54 kW) at 4,800 rpm and 111 Nm of torque from 2,800 to 4,800 rpm.
The mill drives the front wheels via an electronic continuously variable transmission (E-CVT) and is joined by a 2LM electric motor rated at 61 PS (60 hp or 45 kW) and 169 Nm for a total system output of 100 PS. According to Toyota, the JPN Taxi with its Toyota Hybrid System II offers a fuel consumption of 19.4 km/l following the JC08 standard.
Given its purpose, Toyota developed the JPN Taxi to be durable, with the vehicle sporting MacPherson struts at the front and trailing arm rear suspension. The side portions of the front, rear three-part bumper and headlamp lenses are also easily replaceable, while the maintainability of the engine is improved with use of a no-maintenance power water pump in the auxiliary belt system to lower repair costs.
The general design is reminiscent of London’s hackney carriages and prioritises the passenger cabin, with access provided by sliding doors and a wheelchair-friendly ramp. There’s also 401 litres (VDA standard) of boot space that is enough to for two large suitcases stacked horizontally or four golf bags.
Despite being a taxi, safety is not compromised, with the JPN Taxi coming standard with six airbags and the Toyota Safety Sense suite, the latter of which includes autonomous emergency braking and optional pedal misapplication control.
In Japan, the JPN Taxi is offered in two variants, with the cheaper option being the Nagomi priced at 3,338,500 yen (RM112,588), while the top-spec Takumi goes for 3.564 million yen (RM120,193). If there is a business case for the Thai Taxi, we may well see it replace the Corolla – the retail price of the sedan starts at 879,000 baht (RM112,979) – as the common taxi plying the roads of Thailand.
The post Bangkok 2023: Toyota Thai Taxi – liquefied petroleum gas hybrid concept based on JPN Taxi with local livery appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.
* This article was originally published here
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