Toyota Concept EV Based on the iQ; Company Confirms Plans to Launch Urban Commuter BEV by 2012, Li-ion Prius PHEV in Late 2009
|Toyota FT EV. Click to enlarge.|
Toyota’s promised FT-EV concept to be shown at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) (earlier post) is based on the new iQ urban commuter vehicle (earlier post), the company said in a statement issued today. Toyota said it planned to launch an urban commuter battery-electric vehicle (BEV) by 2012.
Toyota also confirmed that it will advance the roll-out of a limited number of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) to global lease-fleet customers to late 2009 from 2010 (earlier post), using Li-ion battery packs from partner PEVE.
The EV announcement, coupled with the showing of the CNG-powered Camry Hybrid concept at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show (earlier post) signal Toyota’s intention to broaden the scope of its advanced alternative-fuel vehicle development, the company said.
Toyota’s FT-EV concept imagines an urban dweller, driving up to 50 miles between home, work and other forms of public transportation, such as high-speed rail.
Last summer’s four-dollar-a-gallon gasoline was no anomaly. It was a brief glimpse of our future. We must address the inevitability of peak oil by developing vehicles powered by alternatives to liquid-oil fuel, as well as new concepts, like the iQ, that are lighter in weight and smaller in size. This kind of vehicle, electrified or not, is where our industry must focus its creativity.—Irv Miller, TMS Group Vice President, Environmental and Public Affairs
Although BEVs and new smaller vehicles like the iQ will be a “key” component of Toyota’s sustainable mobility strategy, Toyota said it considers the conventional gas-electric hybrid, such as the all new third-generation Prius, the company’s long-term core powertrain technology.
Last year, Toyota announced that it planned to sell one million gas-electric hybrids per year sometime during the early 2010s. To accomplish this, Toyota will launch as many as 10 new hybrid models by the early 2010s, in various global markets. The new third-generation Toyota Prius and all new Lexus HS250h, both debuting in Detroit, are the first two examples of that effort.
Li-ion PHEVs in 2009. Beginning in late 2009, Toyota will start global delivery of 500 Prius PHEVs powered by lithium-ion batteries. Of these initial vehicles, 150 will be placed with US lease-fleet customers.
The first-generation lithium-ion batteries powering these PHEVs will be built on an assembly line at Toyota’s PEVE (Panasonic EV Energy Company, LTD) battery plant, a joint-venture production facility in which Toyota owns 60% equity. During its development, the new Prius was designed and engineered to package either the lithium-ion battery pack with plug-in capability, or the nickel-metal hydride battery for the conventional gas-electric system.
The 500 PHEVs arriving globally in late 2009 will be used for market and engineering analysis. Lease–fleet customers will monitor the performance and durability of the first-generation lithium-ion battery, while offering real world feedback on how future customers might respond to the plug-in process.