Tokyo Motor Show Report: Daihatsu

Daihatsu is Japan’s oldest automaker, producing cars since 1951. And while automakers are flocking to Tokyo for the 42nd Motor Show from all over the world, Daihatsu has a special relationship with the show. Way back in 1973, at the 20th Tokyo Motor Show, Daihatsu unveiled two electric vehicles, a 550-watt electric trike as well as the BCX-III electric car prototype. Both those vehicles have faded into history, but with this year’s show, Daihatsu is still pushing the envelope.

Daihatsu will debut two new alternative fuel concept vehicles at the show, which runs Dec. 3-11. The PICO electric concept and the FC ShoCase fuel cell car will both make their debuts at a show which, so far, has felt the influence of alternative fuel vehicles steadily growing.

Daihatsu-PICO

image via Daihatsu

The PICO electric concept is a two-seater that seems more like a combination of an ultra-light micro car and an electric bicycle. According to reports, the PICO will have a driving range of about 30 kilometers miles and a top speed of about 20 mph, so it’s more of a city car and definitely not for highway driving. The PICO is snug, weighing only at just under 900 pounds and squeezing the passenger directly behind the driver.

The Daihatsu FC ShoCase is a liquid fuel cell vehicle that, unlike many fuel cell cars, doesn’t use  precious metals in the fuel cell. If put into production, this could considerable reduce the cost of the car. But that’s not the only thing unique about the ShoCase – the thing is completely rectangular and quite small. The company has yet to offer any speed or range information for the car.

Steve Duda lives in West Seattle, WA with three dogs and a lot of outdoor gear. A part-time fly fishing fishing guide and full-time writer, Steve’s work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Seattle Weekly, American Angler, Fly Fish Journal, The Drake, Democracy Now! and many others.