While speaking at Toyota's 2011 Sustainable Mobility Seminar in San Diego, CA in early April, Jana Hartline, Toyota's manager of environmental communications, said that the automaker's upcoming electric vehicle (currently referred to as the FT-EV concept), to be based on the oft-delayed Scion iQ, will be an "urban commuter" with only 50 miles of electric range. Hartline added that the battery-powered minicar will be a "low-volume vehicle."
Scheduled to launch in 2012, Toyota's electrified minicar will likely duke it out with vehicles like the 73-mile rated Nissan Leaf, 85-mile "best case range scenario" Mitsubishi i and the Think City electric, which boasts 100 miles of range. With plug-in vehicles already being condemned for not hitting advertised range ratings when driven out on the open highway or in frigid weather, one has to wonder if Toyota's pint-sized electric will find acceptance in the U.S. with that short a range. Of course, pricing for the Scion iQ-based electric has yet to be announced and the vehicle's sticker price is sure to have some effect on whether or not buyers will, um, buy it.