Toyota European Design & Development (ED2) and creative designer Jean-Marie Massaud have unveiled the Toyota ME.WE concept car. The Toyota ME.WE has been conceived as an electric car with integrated wheel motors (as the Toyota i-ROAD), and with batteries located under the floor (like the Toyota iQ EV). Without traditional packaging constraints, the interior is devoted entirely to the needs of its five passengers and their possessions.
To achieve the goal of weight reduction, the Toyota ME.WE has an aluminium structure clad in body panels that have been formed from expanded polypropylene. Thus, the weight of ME.WE could be 750 kg (1,653 lbs)—a figure that represents a minimum 20% saving compared to a traditional B-segment car with a steel body. The curb weight saving is mainly due to the difference in mass between body panels made of polypropylene—14 kg (31 lbs)—and those made in steel.
Depending on its original use and intended secondary use, expanded polypropylene can be 100% recycled. The same is true of aluminium, while the bamboo used for the floor and horizontal surfaces has been selected for its aesthetic qualities and its renewable character.
With an electric motor in each wheel, the ME.WE can be a two- or four-wheel-drive vehicle.