• Jul 9th 2010 at 4:09PM
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Toyota FT-EV concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

Toyota officials confirmed this evening that come calendar year 2012, at least three new environmentally friendly cars will be going into production, starting with a version of last year's FT-EV concept that will hit the streets as a battery electric vehicle based on the Scion iQ. This car will use a battery consisting of the large format lithium ion ion cells being developed by Primearth (formerly Panasonic EV Energy) and not a Tesla-style battery. If a joint project with Tesla yields a product, it will be a new car and likely wouldn't arrive until 2015.

Also joining the regular production stream in 2012 will be the Prius plug-in hybrid. A test fleet of those vehicles is already being deployed and consumers will soon be able to monitor the progress of those vehicles on Toyota.com/ESQ. Toyota has equipped the test fleet with the capability to stream real-time data about the vehicles including usage patterns and fuel efficiency. The data is being used by the engineers at the head office in Toyota City as they prepare for the production version, but a portion of it will soon be posted publicly on the site.

The idea is to let consumers see the mileage the vehicles are getting in different usage patterns to help them determine if a PHEV is the right vehicle choice for them. Toyota is concerned that the price premium for plug-in vehicles will mean that only people whose lifestyle would bring out the best in the technology should be using them. Others may be better with a BEV, hybrid or even a conventional powertrain.

Lastly, 2012 will finally see the long-rumored expansion of the Prius moniker into a family of vehicles. Toyota would not confirm what body styles would be coming, although both a coupe and a MPV-style people-mover have been rumored in the past.

[Source: Toyota]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm just happy to see that Toyota is finally admitting that they are doing EV type work. But I'm still afraid it's a "just in case effort" rather than a commitment from them. Time will tell.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Just how much premium is Toyota planning to charge for 14.5 petrol-free miles a day?
      They don't seem ever to have had their hearts into lithium batteries and plug-ins.
        • 5 Years Ago
        They are starting a prius family because they plan to keep producing the non-plug in prius to compete on the low end with honda, ford etc.
        • 5 Years Ago
        My guess is that they will charge an extra 4k-5k but this will be partially offset by federal tax credits for plug in hybrids.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Toyota has repeatedly down played lithium in favor of NiMH because they made a huge commitment to NiMH (in terms of manufacturing capability) and need to sell lots to make the investment worth while. They know the future is lithium, and are using it in their new products, but don't want customers to stop buying NiMH yet.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Wasn't it $4000-$8000?

      • 5 Years Ago
      Toyota will soon have to face an open EV market for competition so I don't care what they say, they are followers not leaders in EV's so it's irrelevant.
      • 5 Years Ago
      2015, are you serious? O_O

      Talk about being late to the game.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Too late for what? Did you even read the post. They're bringing their first BEV and PHEV to market in 2012.
        • 5 Years Ago
        with 2012 coming Probably won't happen at all
        • 5 Years Ago
        If they wanna make it happen, make that new FT-Ch come to fruition. I like that design a lot better than anything else they have, including the new Prius.

        • 5 Years Ago
        At least Chuck Norris will still be around.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I misread a little. You're right.

        I saw 2015 and got a little emotional.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Better approve some electric plants or Nuc plants. Better tell Obama not to
      "have electric rates necessarily skyrocket" from his 2008 video. Better not
      have coal companies go bankrupt thru cap-n-trade,, too as USA gets 50% of
      power from good ol' coal.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I hope the government stops their promotion of old-fashioned LWR nuclear reactors that produce radio-active waste that must be safe-guarded for 10,000 years. Instead they should be pursuing LFTRs.

        Liquid Flouride Thorium Reactors were invented in the 1960s at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. They ran one for almost 5 years. LFTRs use cheap thorium, are inherently safe, do not produce long term radio-active waste and were abandoned because they are not suitable for making bombs. See:
        Although the principles are prooven, there is still some research required for the best materials to have long 50 year plus life. This should be our highest priority to solve our energy and pollution problems.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm a supporter of LFTR too.
        I don't think you will find many of the physicists and chemical engineers on the LFTR sites saying that we should stop building conventional LWR sites until LFTR is ready to go.
        LFTR may be 10,000 times or so better than coal, but conventional nuclear is certainly several hundred times better.
        Air pollution kills around 50,000 people a year in the UK alone through air pollution, aside from releasing vast quantities of CO2 and just about every pollutant known to man, from mercury to enormously more radiation than the tiny amounts the nuclear industry releases.
        It is not sensible to make the best the enemy of the good.
        The 'waste' from conventional reactors will keep molten salt reactors in fuel for centuries.

      • 5 Years Ago
      I have mixed feelings about the FT-EV. I think it could be a 5 door hatch and still have very similar efficiency, but would be a lot more useful as a car. Depends on price though. If it is significantly less than the Leaf then I suppose that is okay.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Toyota is a big car company and can bring out models for each market segment. I am sure they are working on an IQ BEV version too.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It looks more like the Smart done properly, but if indeed they have gone 2 seat it is an odd choice as they have the excellent 4-seat IQ they could have based a compact city EV on.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The Prius family will have the biggest impact.

      A smaller FT-CH based Prius, under $20K and getting even better than 50mpg is a sure winner.
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