Toyota is launching its first zero emission, battery electric vehicles in Europe, the Proace Electric and Proace Verso Electric, adding a powerful new dimension to its Toyota Professional range of light commercial vehicles.
The new models – a range of medium-duty vans and people carriers seating up to nine – achieve best-in-class EV performance with no compromise in the market-leading load-carrying capabilities of their conventionally powered counterparts.
Introducing the new models in selected European markets from early 2021, Toyota signals its commitment to applying different electrification technologies to meet different mobility requirements. With a class-leading driving range of up to 330 km*, the Proace Van Electric and Proace Verso Electric give customers access to Europe’s low and zero emission zones and beyond. For business customers, avoiding the need for daily recharging ensures their vehicles have minimum downtime.
A NEW AND GROWING MARKET FOR LIGHT COMMERCIAL BEVs
- Toyota makes an early entry into Europe’s developing market for battery electric LCVs
- New models give customers access to the increasing number of low and zero emission urban centres
- Best-in-class power, performance and charging speeds
- Introduction to selected European markets during first quarter of 2021
At present, battery electric vehicles (BEVs) account for only a fraction – around 1% – of new LCV sales in Europe, but a number of factors are accelerating demand for practical alternatives to vans with conventional internal combustion engines. Across the region, low and zero emission zones are coming into force to reduce local pollution and improve air quality in urban centres, at the same time as rapid growth in e-commerce is generating more day-to-day delivery traffic.
Consumers are actively seeking cleaner forms of transport and large corporations are making electrified vehicles a requirement within their fleet tender processes. Customer interest is also increasing, as manufacturers bring more models to market and they become more visible on city streets.
Toyota is taking an early and market-leading initiative with the introduction of Proace Electric and Proace Verso Electric. The new models not only provide best-in-class power, performance and charging requirements within their BEV segments, they go further by delivering just the same quality and load or people-carrying practicality as their diesel-powered equivalents.
Key customer concerns have been addressed in developing the new model ranges, including driving range (up to 330 km*), charging times (fast charging in less than one hour), cost of ownership and battery quality (eight-year/160,000 km warranty as standard). This makes them a smart choice for customers who need to access low/zero emission zones, giving them the opportunity to develop new, cost-efficient business models that deliver environmental performance while maintaining service levels.
Proace Electric was introduced to initial European markets – Norway, Netherlands and Switzerland – in the fourth quarter of 2020. In the first quarter of 2021 it will be launched in Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom, alongside Proace Verso Electric in some markets.
- Choice of two lithium-ion batteries to suit customer requirements – 50 kWh and 75 kWh
- Respective best-in-class, zero emission driving ranges of up to 230 and 330 km*, comfortably beyond the daily average of target customers, avoiding the need for daily recharging
- Fast-charging (to 80% charge) in less than an hour
- Battery quality and durability reflected in standard eight-year/160,000 km battery warranty
Choice of two battery pack options
Proace Electric and Proace Verso Electric can be specified with either of two lithium-ion battery packs, to suit different customer driving requirements. These power a front-mounted electric motor which drives the front wheels, giving smooth, quiet performance with zero emissions.
The smaller of the two is an 18-module 50 kWh battery which weighs 383 kg and gives a best-in-class driving range of up to 230 km*. This will be ideal for customers making regular short urban journeys or organisations working across a large campus or industrial park.
The larger, 27-module unit delivers 75 kWh and weighs 534 kg. It gives the electric Proace models the ability to cover up to 330 km* on a full charge , giving owners peace of mind when they have to make longer trips, or have a busy schedule between recharging opportunities.
The choice is available for all four body types: Verso people carriers, panel van, Crew Cab and platform cab. In the Proace range, both batteries can be specified for medium and long vehicle lengths, while the compact model uses the 50 kWh battery exclusively.
Toyota researched the needs of its target customers and found the majority typically covered only around 45 km in a working day. The generous driving range provided by both battery options means that for most owners, the new Toyota models will not require daily recharging, reducing the vehicles’ down time.
The driving range can be affected by a number of external factors, including the weather and temperature, the road type and quality, the driver’s driving style and the payload being carried.
Proace Electric and Proace Verso Electric have three driving modes, Eco, Normal and Power, selected using a centre console-mounted switch.
When driving in “Power” mode, maximum power output from both batteries is 136 DIN hp/100 kW with peak torque of 260 Nm delivered from start-up. Top speed is electronically limited to 130 km/h and 0-100 km/h acceleration can be accomplished in 13.1 seconds. In Eco mode output is reduced to 82 DIN hp/60 kW with 190 Nm of torque, while in Normal mode the electric system produces 109 DIN hp/80 kW with 210 Nm.
Simple, secure and convenient charging options
Speed and ease of charging are important considerations for customers who need to minimise the amount of time their vehicle is off the road. Toyota has provided multiple charging options for the Proace Electric and Proace Verso Electric, to suit different customer needs.
All models come with a 7.4 kW single-phase onboard charger and a 6 m Type 2 cable for connection to a home charging socket, plus the option of a 7 m Type 2 cable for connection to a 32 A wallbox system. As an option, a faster 11 kW tri-phased onboard charger can be specified. The connection socket in the front left wing is compatible with public/third party fast-charging charge points.
Recharging time will vary according to power supply criteria in different markets, but a fast charging 100 kW DC system will deliver an 80% charge in around 32 minutes for the 50 kW battery and 48 minutes for the 75 kW battery.
Further customer peace of mind about the quality and durability of the battery is provided by an eight-year/160,000 km manufacturer’s warranty. In some markets, there is the option to extend this warranty further, linked to an annual battery health check as part of the scheduled servicing programme.
PROACE ELECTRIC: UNCOMPROMISED PRACTICALITY
- Toyota’s first battery electric van provides a standard 1 tonne payload and towing capacity, which can be optionally increased to 1.275 tonnes
- Complete range of Compact, Medium and Long body lengths, plus Crew Cab and Platform Cab versions
- EV-specific equipment specifications include e-toggle shift switch, drive mode selector and electronic parking brake
The new Proace Electric offers customers the same choice of formats as the standard Proace range, including a panel van in compact, medium and long body lengths; a Crew Cab, fitted with an extra row of seats; and a platform cab for bespoke and specialist bodies.
With the battery located entirely beneath the vehicle floor, there is no impact on Proace’s load capacity, in any version. Moreover, this design adds to the vehicle’s stability and rigidity, contributing to stable and responsive performance.
Similarly, payload and towing capacity are maintained at the same best-in-class levels.
The Proace Compact Electric has all the virtues of compact size and load-carrying capability of its conventionally powered panel van counterpart, measuring 4,609 mm long overall with a 2,925 mm wheelbase. Its 11.3-metre turning diameter (between kerbs) makes it highly manoeuvrable for use in built-up areas, while the 1.9-metre height allows access to most car parks.
Its load space measures 2,162 mm long by 1,636 mm wide (maximum interior width), giving a load volume of 4.6 m3. This can be extended to 5.1 m3 with the clever Smart Cargo system, which uses an opening in the front bulkhead and a folding front passenger seat mechanism to extend the flat floor loading length from 2.16 to 3.32 m.
The Medium version is 4,959 mm long and has a 3,275 mm wheelbase. When the Smart Cargo system is fitted, overall load length extends to 3,674 mm and load capacity rises from 5.3 to 5.8 m3.
The Long version of Proace Electric has the same 3,275 mm wheelbase, but has an extended rear overhang that takes overall vehicle length to 5,309 mm. The cargo area measures 2,862 mm long and 1,628 mm wide, giving a load volume of 6.1 m3. In this version, the Smart Cargo system takes maximum load length to 4.03 m, increasing load capacity to 6.6 m3.
On the Medium and Long panel vans, the sliding side door openings are wide enough for standard-size Euro pallets to be loaded.
Proace Electric equals the best models in its class with a one tonne payload across all versions. This can be optionally increased to 1.275 tonnes on vans fitted with the smaller, 50 kWh battery.
Towing capacity is also at a best-in-class level at one tonne (braked trailer, with up to 50% payload inside the van). These capabilities reinforce the status of Proace Electric as a no-compromise choice for customers.
Model grades and equipment
The new Proace Electric is available in three model grades: Base, Comfort and Comfort Plus, matching the strong combination of practicality, safety and comfort features found in the conventionally powered range, together with a number of items specific to their all-electric status.
The Comfort specification includes manual air conditioning, power-adjustable heated door mirrors, a seven-inch touchscreen with display audio, DAB radio reception, Aux-in and USB sockets, under-seat storage box/tool kit and an optional rear-view camera. The driver’s seat has an arm rest and is height-adjustable and has adjustable lumbar support. The load area has two lights and a 12 V power outlet, with two further power sockets in the cabin.
Comfort Plus models gain body-coloured bumpers and door handles, front and rear parking sensors with Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) and 16-inch steel wheels with full covers. Keyless entry and automatic air conditioning are also provided. The multimedia package provides smartphone connectivity using Apple CarPlay®/Android Auto™, DAB and optional satellite navigation.
Toyota Safety Sense
All versions are available with a Toyota Safety Sense package of active safety and driver assistance systems, including a Pre-Collision System with pedestrian detection.
Additional convenience features, including front and rear parking sensors, Adjustable Speed Limiter (ASL), a Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) and a digital mirror that can provide a 180-degree rear-view image, are also available.
The driver’s instrument binnacle has been adapted to include dials and meters specific to the vehicle’s battery and electric motor performance. The arrangement includes an EV system indicator divided into Charge, Eco and Power sections, and an electricity consumption indicator, showing the draw on battery power from the cabin air conditioning system.
In the centre of the display a 3.5-inch TFT multi-information display provides additional EV functions, including a real-time indication of energy flow, the level of battery charge and the remaining driving range.
E-toggle and Drive Mode Selector
In place of a gear shift, the driver uses an e-toggle control on the centre console to engage Park and select Drive, Neutral and Reverse. There is also a “B” switch to activate additional regenerative braking each time the driver takes their foot off the accelerator pedal.
Different drive modes can be selected using a switch alongside the e-toggle. This lets the drive choose between Eco, Normal and Power modes to suit their preference and the driving conditions. In each mode, the level of power and torque is adjusted, detailed in the powertrain chapter above.
Electric parking brake
The Proace Electric has an electric parking brake as standard, operated using a switch mounted between the front seats.
Charging point cover
The charging point is located on the vehicle’s front left wing, covered by a hinged flap. It features an indicator to the right of the socket that illuminates to show the charging status.
When no cable is attached, no light shows. With the cable plugged in, a white light indicates stand-by mode; flashing green shows charging in progress; and constant green indicates charging is complete. A blue light illuminates when a programmable charging function has been selected and a red light warns of an error or that the nozzle is still locked in place.
For convenience, the driver can use their remote key to disconnect the nozzle from the charging socket. The red indicator light will go out when the nozzle is unlocked; the cable must be removed within 30 seconds, after which the nozzle will re-lock.
The new Proace Electric is available in four colours: White, Dark Grey, Silver and Black. Other colours can also be provided on special customer request.
PROACE VERSO ELECTRIC: PEOPLE-CARRYING POWER WITH ZERO EMISSIONS
- Full range of Combi, Shuttle, Family and VIP models, in Compact, Medium and Long Body Lengths
- Seating for up to nine on board
- No reduction in load space volume compared to conventionally powered Proace Verso
- EV-specific features and charging functions shared with Proace Electric
The new Toyota Proace Verso Electric follows the example set by the Proace Electric by providing battery electric drive in all current versions of the people carrier. This includes the Combi, Shuttle, Family and VIP models and Compact, Medium and Long body lengths, providing seating for up to nine people on board.
Once again, the underfloor battery avoids any loss in load space, with 224 l in the Compact version, 603 l in the Medium and 989 l in the Long (figures for eight-seat Family model, loaded level with the top of the seats).
The EV instrumentation, equipment features and charging functions are all shared with the Proace Electric, detailed above.
The Combi focuses on practicality for work, with three rows of three seats. The equipment specification includes driver’s seat armrest, driver and passenger front airbags, manual air conditioning, cloth upholstery, central locking, cruise control with speed limiter, 12V dashboard power outlet, 16-inch steel wheels, tyre pressure monitor, power windows, sliding side doors and glazed rear doors.
The Shuttle caters for customers who need a vehicle that can meet the space and seating requirements for both work and personal use and can seat up to nine people. The seats have a tilt and tumble mechanism for easy access. Standard features include driver’s seat height adjustment and lumbar support, power windows, dark-tinted rear windows, dusk-sensing headlights, front fog lights, rain-sensing windscreen wipers, electrically adjustable, heated door mirrors and body colour-matched bumpers and door handles. The tailgate has a heater and rear wiper system. In the cabin there are curtain airbags and a multi-function roof in case of rear air conditioning.
The vehicle’s multimedia functions, including an eight-speaker audio system with DAB tuner and satellite navigation (where specified), are controlled via a central seven-inch touchscreen. Higher grade models provide smartphone integration, using Apple CarPlay®/Android Auto™.
The Family model focuses on space, flexibility and comfort for leisure and personal use. Its eight-seat layout features rail-mounted, sliding and removable rear seats, with 60:40 split second and third rows, giving an extra dimension of flexibility and practicality. Second row passengers benefit from aeroplane-style seatback tables, and all six rear seats are equipped with Isofix child seat anchors.
According to market, additional equipment features to the Shuttle specification may include a fully carpeted floor, a luggage cover, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and additional child mirror, rear parking sensors, keyless entry with push-button start, an opening tailgate window and a folding function for the door mirrors.
The Proace Verso Electric VIP is designed for executive transport and comes with an appropriately high specification and comfort levels. It accommodates seven, with heated seats for the driver and front passenger. As on the Family model, the rail-mounted second and third row seats can be slide-adjusted or removed altogether; the second row seats are captain-style and can be rotated through 180 degrees to create a more informal cabin arrangement. There is also an occasional rear lounge table with folding sections, again mounted on rails for easy adjustment. Key equipment features include welcome illumination, smart entry and start, front passenger seat height and lumbar adjustment, rear parking sensors and power sliding side doors with a hands-free opening function. The doors can also be operated using the key fob, interior and exterior handles and buttons on the dashboard and inside the centre pillar.
The higher grade models are available with Toyota Safety Sense, including Pre-Collision System with pedestrian detection.
Proace Verso Electric is available in the same range of eight body colours as the conventionally powered Verso.
Proace City coming to complete Toyota Professional’s electric offer
Following Proace and Proace Verso Electric medium-duty vehicles, the Toyota Professional commercial range will be complemented by the smaller Proace CITY and Proace CITY Verso battery-electric models.
Proace CITY Electric versions will be available with a 50 kWh lithium-ion battery providing maximum output of 136 DIN hp, ensuring smooth operations in low emission zones.
Initial deliveries will begin from October 2021. More details and product specifications will be announced soon.
* According to WLTP standard. Driving range is influenced by several factors such as: product weight, weather and temperature, road type and quality, payload and driving style.