Japanese automaker Daihatsu has been making ultra-compact "kei" cars for years, and it looks like the rest of the world is just now catching on to the miniature green trend. Dozens of automakers are bringing city cars to this year's Tokyo Motor Show, and Daihatsu is continuing its kei car line by bringing three new mini EVs and fuel cells to the show. They are the FC Shocase, which looks like a cross between an iPhone and a taco truck, the mini Pico tandem two-seater EV, and the D-X (pronounced D-Cross) sports car.
Daihatsu is proving its ability to work with a diverse line of products: The FC ShoCase is a fuel cell vehicle that contains no precious metals, while the PICO EV works in a variety of configurations and the D-X has a traditional but tiny two-cylinder engine with both direct injection and turbocharging to make the most of its power. Toyota has a controlling interest in this company, so we can expect to see some of these technologies trickle down to more widespread global products over the next decade. It’s good to know someone already knows how to build the cars of the future.