Hybrids & Electrics

That Time Toyota Built a Golf Cart

Golf carts can be used for many purposes beyond the golf course. For example, college campuses have used them for security. However, it does not end there. Paramedics have used them at sporting events, and airports have also used them as shuttles. Regardless of their mission, the mobility machines are rarely made by a mainline automotive manufacturer. But, Toyota has decided to wade in the pool water with its own electric golf cart.

Olympic transportation studies

The black and white electric van called the APM, Accessible People Mover by Toyota
The electric APM, Accessible People Mover | Toyota

The Olympics are a time that many people hustle back and forth between venues or around the Olympic Village. The athletes themselves are often shuttled by team coordinators. So, Toyota has studied past Olympic transportation needs and decided to make their own mobility solution. It is called the APM, Accessible People Mover.

The Toyota APM, Accessible People Mover

The black and white electric van called the Toyota APM is shown with the ramp for riders with wheelchair needs.
The electric APM, Accessible People Mover with seating reconfigured for a wheelchair rider | Toyota

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The Toyota APM is an electric golf cart of another flavor. According to our friends at Automotive News, the APM was created as a “last-one-mile” mobility solution. The electric vehicle has a top speed of 12 mph and a range of up to 62 miles. According to the press release from Toyota, in addition to athletes and staff, a fleet of 200 APM will serve 

“all types of visitors with accessibility needs such as the elderly, people with impairments, pregnant women, and families with small children, among others. It is also anticipated that part of the fleet of APMs will be used to support relief activities at events/venues during summer.”

The electric Toyota has modular seating

What is very attractive about the Toyota APM is that the EV provides modular seating. So, in addition to being a three-row golf cart, the seats can be reconfigured depending on the need. For example, the seats can be moved to allow space for a stretcher. The seats can also be reconfigured to allow room for wheelchairs. There is even a retractable wheelchair ramp with the vehicle. 

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The Toyota APM is also an example of the “mobility for all” initiative that the automaker has rolled out as the world shifts to electrification. The hope is to provide transportation to all in an environmentally friendly way. They anticipate that for the Olympics specifically, carbon emissions will be reduced by as much as 50 percent through the use of the APM and Toyota products at large.

Here’s the thing, though. Toyota created the vehicle for the 2020 Olympics. Those Olympics, however, were postponed a year due to the ongoing global health concern. So, the automaker has not really had an opportunity to show off their APM electric vehicle in use. In fact, a search of the internet turns up almost nothing about the APM since its introduction back in 2019. 

The forgotten Toyota

Remember that time Toyota introduced an electric golf cart? Not many do. There are many ways Toyota could have continued to roll out the APM while waiting for the Olympics. But, the lack of it being filmed or discussed in the interim ensures the little cart will be forgotten and its technology possibly become dated. Maybe it will pop-up again somewhere before the postponed Olympics start.