Tokyo, Feb. 17 (Jiji Press)–Major Japanese oil distributor Idemitsu Kosan Co. <5019> has said it will enter the business of developing and selling ultracompact electric vehicles with Tajima Motor Corp.
In April, Idemitsu Kosan will set up a new company with Tajima, which manufactures vehicles for competition and other purposes.
A new model will be announced in October and be sold at Idemitsu’s affiliated gas stations and other locations from 2022, according to a joint statement released on Tuesday.
Idemitsu Kosan and Tajima hope to set the price at 1.5 million yen or less.
The new vehicle under development will be smaller than a minivehicle, with seats for four people and a maximum speed of 60 kilometers per hour.
It will be rechargeable from a household power outlet, with the target range set at some 120 km on an eight-hour charge.
With easy turning in narrow spaces, the model is expected to be used by elderly people who are not comfortable driving vehicles and for shopping and picking up children in areas where public transportation is inadequate.
As well as sales, the two companies will consider offering car-sharing services at gas stations.