This is the Kayoibako concept, Toyota's take on the 'jack of all trades' EV for the future – but will it matter if this little van is also a master of none?
Luckily, The Bard's full quote reads "A jack of all trades is a master of none, but often times better than a master of one", and that looks to be Toyota's angle here.
The Kayoibako is so named because the word, in Japanese [↗], refers to the modest concept of a reusable shipping carton – although Toyota puts it thus: "The word kayoibako refers to configurable shipping containers for safely and efficiently transporting parts and products between facilities, sized to eliminate waste and able to meet diverse needs with changeable inserts."
Toyota says it conceived the Kayoibako as a "quality base unit" packaged as a solid interior and exterior package, without bending your wallet over.
Its expandable design would let you tailor it to all sorts of roles, making it a flexible player in the game.
The design is said to be ultra-expandable, allowing for various customisations – and while there's no getting around the fact that it looks like nothing more than a van, it's a cool-looking van.
So what is it for?
Business or pleasure
The Kayoibako was designed to connect with smart grids and other systems that go beyond just getting you from point A to B. In a business context, this could mean efficient last-mile logistics or even a mobile shop with built-in product display shelves.
For personal use, the van is intended to be heavily customisable, both from a styling and a functional, accessible perspective. Wheelchair access? No worries. Off-roading? Apparently, yes.
As with many dedicated EVs, the Kayoibako boasts some bizarre dimensions – although, as a van, its specs make sense. It's only 3990mm long, making it shorter than the compact Yaris Cross, but its 2800mm wheelbase is just 50mm shy of the big Kluger's footprint. And, at 1855mm tall, it's comfortably taller than both. Interior space, check.
Toyota Kayoibako dimensions
|DIMENSIONS||Toyota Kayoibako||Toyota Yaris Cross||Toyota Kluger|
|Length / Width / Height (mm)||3990 / 1790 / 1855||4180 / 1765 / 1560||4950 / 1930 / 1730|
|Interior Length / Width / Height (mm)||3127*2 / 1485 / 1437|
When will the Toyota Kayoibako be available to buy?
Toyota isn't offering any word on whether the Kayoibako is destined for production, but it clearly offers a glimpse into the sort of adaptable automotive future many brands want buyers to expect from their EVs.
Watch for more to come at the 2023 Japan Mobility Show, opening on October 25.
Our man John Law will be there, so expect a walkaround review video on our socials.