Nearly a year ago, Toyota officially revealed what could be its most affordable hybrid vehicle to date. It's called the Raize e-Smart Hybrid, and it's not your typical hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) from Toyota.
Just like the Nissan Kicks e-Power, the Raize e-Smart Hybrid has an electric motor and a gasoline-powered engine. But since it's a series hybrid, the electric motor actually drives the front wheels while the 1.2-liter three-cylinder is only there to charge the battery pack. The result is an EV-like driving experience without the range anxiety associated with most EVs.
It has a system output of 106 PS with 170 Nm of torque. It also gets a Smart Pedal (S-PDL) system that allows for one-pedal operation, much like Nissan's e-Pedal. Toyota claims that with this setup, the Raize e-Smart Hybrid is capable of averaging 28 km/l based on the WLTP cycle.
With the all-new Raize e-Smart Hybrid launched in Japan, it was only natural that Daihatsu makes their own with the Rocky Hybrid which is also made in The Land of The Rising Sun. And now, Malaysian automaker Perodua has also released its own version with the Ativa Hybrid.
Launched in its home market via a subscription program, the company branded the Ativa Hybrid as an “electric vehicle study” and as their first step toward electrification. They will start with an initial run of 300 subscribers, study consumer acceptance for a 5-year subscription service, and understand the group driving behavior of a hybrid vehicle in populated areas.
Much like the Raize e-Smart Hybrid, it also gets the same 1.2-liter three-cylinder and electric motor powertrain. It puts out 106 PS with 170 Nm of torque and is essentially a completely-built unit from Daihatsu without the badges and 'Rocky' name.
With brands like Perodua already studying the Ativa Hybrid for Malaysia, could other markets like the Philippines get the Raize e-Smart Hybrid or Daihatsu Rocky Hybrid? For now, it seems Toyota is starting to offer it in the region and are hoping to expand further in other markets.
Unfortunately, since it's still a Japan-made unit, it might not arrive in the Philippines just yet. But if Indonesia starts making them for the ASEAN market, there could be a good chance it makes their way to the other Southeast Asian countries.
For now, we'll be keeping our eyes peeled for any information regarding the possibility of TMP bringing the e-Smart Hybrid to the country.