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Friday, August 07, 2009
Toyota Electric Car For 2012
Image: © 2009 Toyota Motor Co.

Toyota Promises A Battery Electric Car For 2012

AICHI, JAPANToyota Motor Company made a formal announcement earlier this year at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) that they would introduce a 100% battery electric plug-in car (BEV) for the 2012 model year. Toyota's FT-EV electric concept car is shown in the photo, which the company says is based upon the 2009 Toyota iQ model, currently sold by Toyota in European markets. The 2009 iQ has a 3+1 passenger configuration and achieves exceptional fuel economy in either its gasoline (petrol), or diesel engine configurations.

Toyota's initial testing of their FT-EV electric concept car has shown that the iQ is an excellent platform for an electric vehicle, and working with their subsidiary joint venture battery supplier Panasonic EV Energy Company, they have tested the car with a lithium-ion battery pack. Toyota's engineers have set a minimum design constraint that the FT-EV must be capable of performing a 50 mile (80 km) commute off a full charge, even in urban stop-and-go traffic. 

Toyota also said earlier this year that they would release in late 2009 a limited production of PHV Plug-In Prius III hybrids, having the capability to charge their battery pack off of a home outlet at night and run for extended periods on pure battery power. Toyota will launch 500 2010 Prius III PHV plug-in hybrids to the world market, and make these available to specially selected lease customers - 150 of these will be destined for the United States.

The battery pack in the new 2010 Prius III PHV is a new next generation lithium-ion type, and is produced by their Panasonic EV Energy Plant in Japan. Generally, plug-in hybrids have a greater capacity to use their electric motors for power than conventional hybrids and can achieve higher top speeds on battery power alone. This is because they are fitted with larger capacity battery packs, have a higher output electric motor, and the batteries can be fully charged off a home outlet before the vehicle starts its journey.

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