• Apr 27, 2011
Toyota FT-EV Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

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.




[Source: Plugin Cars]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 37 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      not entirely. I have the zero s 2010 and in real world aussie roads im getting about 40 miles. its been fine so far. I have accepted that some places are just out of range. would be nice to bolt on a 2kwh range extender every now and then. Zero?? any options. even 1kwh
      JakeY
      • 3 Years Ago
      As mentioned in the article, price will ultimately decide whether it is acceptable. With only 50 miles it'll be competing mostly with NEVs (except probably with a better top speed and safety).
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sorry.... what was that? ... what did they say the range was, again ?????
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why in h*ll would anybody buy one of those things? I put together plastic car models in the 70s that would get better range than that.
        • 1 Day Ago
        Thats plastic.. not a crash test passing car..
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      HM. For a low 20k figure. it could be worth it to some urbanites. I think 50 miles is cutting into... useless as a car territory though. IMHO, 75 miles is kind of a minimum in my mind.. because when the battery starts losing it's mojo, there's some extra buffer range available.
      Ryan
      • 3 Years Ago
      50 miles would be fine for me in my town. I hope that my conversion would get 40 miles and that would be far enough around here. I might be a weird case where 90% of my trips are under 5 miles (I have been riding my bike for these where I can), 5% are 5-15 miles, and 5% are 330 miles. It is all about price however. Yes, the dollar has been going down (and the East & West coasts have been driving prices up), but I still shop in 1990 dollars when it comes to cars. I'm not sure if I would pay $10k for a car.
        Mastro
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Ryan
        No offense- but I think you are a pretty atypical driver. Are you in California? That is a huge car culture. Even where I live outside Philly- you still need a car to get around- I just drove about 30 miles- 10 to my dad's rehab facility- then 20 to work. If I had this thing I couldn't get home without charging up.
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Ryan
        It might be fine today, but what if that range deteriorates. In five short years, during a cold spell, how far will this car take you? I think you're smart to keep the bottom line in mind. This is simply not the best use of money. Plenty of cars aren't the best use of money, but if that's your bottom line, this would be a foolish choice.
      Nick From Montreal
      • 3 Years Ago
      Designed to be a complete failure & not overshadow their Prius cash cow. Sure they could do better, but why should they? My hope is that EVs will eat into the popularity of the Prius until they wise up and decide to put a plug and a decent 40-60 miles battery into it. We all know they could do it if they really wanted to. Infuriating...
      John R
      • 3 Years Ago
      Well clearly this vehicle was designed to fail. With real EVs hitting the market now, such as the Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi i, and more - to release this car with a paltry 50-mile range and apparently barely room enough to seat 2, was a huge mistake. Toyota, prepare to be crushed by the competition.
        • 1 Day Ago
        @John R
        If it's half the cost of the Leaf, it will sell more than the Leaf does. It really depends on a few factors. It would be nice if Toyota had a completely stripped down car for $12500, with obsolete battery technology and minimal performance to suit an urban driver. Basically a nicer golf cart.
      • 3 Years Ago
      A 50 mile range would make a fine second car if you live in a suburban/urban area and just need a commuter/shopper. If it's under 20 grand, I'd consider it.
        • 1 Day Ago
        Don't forget the upkeep on the battery. I'd rather have a cheap used compact Corolla.
      LEONARD
      • 3 Years Ago
      50mile range hmmmm price?? and recharge time ??? 23miles one way to work for me, but i think there just low balling with the range we have seen many times home builds with much more weight and poor aero get better range on lead acid.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @LEONARD
        Sure...... but it's still a trunk load of lead acid that will last 1-3 years in regular usage, all the while giving terrible performance and loading your car down like crazy. Lithium is cheaper in the long run, and weighs a fraction / takes a fraction of space of what lead acid does. BTW Recharge time could be rather quick on such a small pack actually! The limitation for home charging is often the amount of amps you can pull from a 110/220v socket, not the battery pack itself! If they equip this car with a decent charger, i bet you it could charge in 2-3 hours from a 220v socket.
        DB
        • 3 Years Ago
        @LEONARD
        According to Toyota's Australian website, it can charge in 2.5 hrs off 220V. It is worth noting that this car has an 11kwh battery and 3+1 seating (?). http://www.toyota.pressroom.com.au/press_release_detail.asp?prID=3791&clientID=2 It is also worth noting that unlike the Prius plug-in, which uses Sanyo batteries, this EV uses batteries made by Toyota's in-house battery company Primearth (formerly Panasonic EV, now 80% owned by Toyota). Toyota may be using this platform to prove out their own battery technology for future projects the same way the LFA is being used to test Toyota's Carbon Fiber weaving technology. If this same pack was dropped in the Prius V's larger truck, you could have a decent plug-in.
      McHoffa
      • 3 Years Ago
      depends on the price... if they price it super low and market it as purely urban, they could have a winner for anyone in a city that doesn't have to go far every day
        • 1 Day Ago
        @McHoffa
        Exactly. It looks perfect for an urban environment -- provided you have a place to recharge it.
          • 1 Day Ago
          Agreed, wondring kwh tho.
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 3 Years Ago
      well, if the price is right it's fine around town. and if you have some level 3 chargers and agile battery chemistry it can even go the occasional distance. but price wont be right. and the car is not light nor aerodynamic which would benefit it greatly. so it wont matter
    • Load More Comments