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Toyota to Show New Compact Electric City Vehicle Concept at Tokyo Motor Show

Toyota’s new FT-EV II concept. Click to enlarge.

Toyota will display a new electric vehicle concept—the FT-EV II—at the 41st Tokyo Motor Show later this month. Toyota will also showcase the Li-ion plug-in Prius concept, and a new compact, rear-wheel drive sports car concept.

In January 2009 at the North American International Auto Show, Toyota introduced its first FT-EV concept, based on the iQ. (Earlier post.) The FT-EV II features a body even more compact than ultra-compact iQ, but that still seats four. The FT-EV II is a compact EV designed for short distances, and is based on the idea of a future mobility society in which EVs are common, and means of transport are divided according to purpose, the characteristics of the energy to be used and the status of the supply infrastructure.

The vehicle offers a top speed of more than 100 km/h (62 mph), and range on a single charge of up to 90 km (56 miles).

Drive-by-wire technology enables joystick operation of all functions including accelerator, brakes and steering wheel; ample legroom is provided by elimination of accelerator and brake pedals. The vehicle is designed with a low front cowl and auxiliary window below windshield for outstanding forward visibility; further consideration paid to safety around vehicle led to see-through LED rear combination taillights.

Electric sliding doors on both sides facilitate ingress and egress, particularly in narrow spaces.

Plug-in Prius. The Prius Plug-in Hybrid Concept, which uses the first lithium-ion batteries to be used to power a Toyota-brand vehicle, is based on the third-generation Prius and will have its Japan debut at the show. (Earlier post.)

The Plug-in aims to have fuel efficiency of 55 km/L (130 mpg US, 1.8 L/100 km), CO2 emissions of 42 g/km or less and an EV cruising range of 20 km (12 miles) or more on a fully charged battery. Approximate battery-charging times are 180 minutes at 100V and 100 minutes at 200V.

FT-86. The FT-86 is a compact rear-wheel-drive sports car powered by a 2-liter boxer engine.



"Drive-by-wire technology enables joystick operation of all functions including accelerator, brakes and steering wheel; ample legroom is provided by elimination of accelerator and brake pedals. The vehicle is designed with a low front cowl and auxiliary window below windshield for outstanding forward visibility; further consideration paid to safety around vehicle led to see-through LED rear combination taillights."

In the long run, how can EVs like this NOT cost less per mile to buy and drive?


So while Toyota is still out showing off concept EV's, Nissan has arranged to release its production Leaf EV in Vancouver in 2011.... They missed the boat on this one, I hope they can catch up. I guess they'll just have to pay the Li ion battery patent royalties on their EV's since they spent so much effort on FCV in place of developing batteries.

I tell you, if I had the money for a car and knew I'd be around town for a few years I'd sign up for a Leaf right now.


Toyota persists in trying to convince themselves and everyone else that battery electric cars wont work. The days of the cute electric buzz box that never gets made are over. Affordable real electric cars with good range are being made for 2011 and beyond.


There will never be a joystick controlled car, unless it is primarily controlled by a grand road computer that controls all of the cars in the area. Control of a steering wheel is far less susceptible to inputs from various mishaps. Bump a joystick controlled car and watch it change course and speed. Bump a steering wheel and rarely does anything change. Drivers' legs don't get bumped in a car, and don't much move in an accident.

During a vehicular mishap under joystick control, a driver may all too easily be confused by using the three controls combined into one. Our present system of three separate controls for steering, braking and accelerating allows for finer modulation and differentiation, and thereby increases the chance that a driver can maintain control of the vehicle, even performing complex maneuvers to reduce the severity of the outcome, if not entirely preventing the accident.


I have to agree with JC; joysticks are a bad idea. It's just too easy for a small movement of the hand to become a big problem on the road.


The concept's ugly all around.


The Prius sounds pretty good - 130 mpg (US) with a 20 km electric range.
This will give considerable pressure to get companies to install workplace charging stations.

Because batteries are expensive and bulky (at present) there is a lot to be said for getting the maximum out of a smaller battery.

Hence my earlier notions of adaptive (or "smart") use of a GPS and a machine learning system to learn your commute, and optimise battery usage based on typical weekday driving conditions.


If joysticks can control aircraft and spaceships at thousands of miles per hour, it should be possible to control a car.


I wouldn't think of a joystick having the same sensitivity you see in video games where a nudge just sends you rocketing off in that direction. I would expect they would design it with a fairly large and concerted effort to get a large change in direction and small "nudges" would hardly affect the course of the vehicle at all.

JC - a VERY common injury in high speed automobile accidents is a broken ankle and/or pelvis from the driver pressing down as hard as they can on the brakes up until the point of impact - so while a leg may not move much people tend to push down with great force on brakes causing additional injury that would not have occurred if they had both legs in a more retracted position (though this would be irrelevant if the leg damage is caused by the dashboard moving inside of the cabin or the cabin space itself collapsing).


"...it should be possible to control a car."
Of course it should be possible.

But any goofball can get behind a wheel (or joystick).

A little more training is required to fly an airplane, and a lot more to fly a spaceship .


Ever hear of adaptive joy sticks which change their characteristics depending on driving conditions?


Don't you just love that high tech golf cart?


With a joystick, one can fly a helicopter that is as close to riding a beach ball as it comes. not a gamer myself so no talent in that direction, but the kids can make sense of much of those "awful gadgets'
This vehicle is pretty ugly for sure but mothers will even call babies cute so we can learn to adapt our aesthetics to just about anything.

Lightweight efficiency, easy park, economy. This is how all the rest of the world makes progress. Till things become so small and impractical to locate and ergonomics fail, utility and form following function are valid perspectives.
Ego, conspicuous consumption, fashionistas etc are not.


Dont forget thats a car for japan not america...


How do you say "Thank god that ugly thing is just a concept" in Japanese.


Gojera GOJERA GOJERA!!!!!! iEEEEEEEEEE!!!!! Oh wait thats japanese for oh god they sent hillary to japan!!!


Mini and compact e-cars will sell in many countries but may not do so well in Canada and USA as long as we can afford to drive our Hummers.

An extended economic crisis may force many of us the modify our acquired love affair with 3-tonnes vehicles. The switch to small cars has already started and may gain speed when crude oil price goes over $100/barrel again.



I believe this will suffice:

My thought is... Who hit this thing with the ugly stick?


You can't hit a home run with an ugly stick.

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