We have said it before and we will say it again: Electric vehicles will be all the rage in 2011. We have seen some great strides in the market, so much so that auto manufactures that were saying just last year that the technology wasn’t ready for the electric vehicle (EV) are now putting new plans in the works to come out with their own versions. Enter Toyota and their smallest car in the line-up—the Toyota iQ.
Yes, Toyota has decided to take their mini model and make it an EV that will make its grand debut at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. Our partners over at AllCarsElectric.com report that the 3+1 EV prototype will “feature a powertrain based on Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system found in the 2011 Toyota Prius, but without the gasoline engine.” Okay, so that means no Volt magic here, just pure 100% electricity. The iQ EV prototype will also sport a brand new flat battery lithium-ion technology that is capable of taking this little car an estimated 65 miles.
If that range seems short, then remember that the Toyota iQ (or lavish Aston Martin Cygnet) is only a couple of inches longer than a smart car. In fact, it is the same vehicle that James May took a Saint Bernard around the Top Gear track (see that video here). It is small, not matter how you slice it, but Toyota seems to be going down the city runabout path, which makes sense for iQ. That said it doesn’t necessarily make sense for the U.S. market where the Mitsubishi i and Th!nk City and Smart ForTwo Ev haven’t really gained a lot of traction. Part of this is the design of our cities and the perception of success or lack there of that comes with such a small car. Now those currents have shown signs of changing, but for the interim we are going to guess Toyota is really aiming this small EV squarely at the Asia Pacific and European regions.
Bottom line—It is clear that EVs are here to stay and all the manufactures are now pushing to produce something that consumers around the world will be willing to adopt.