It's no secret that Toyota doesn't really have a heart in pushing pure electric vehicles. The very limited Scion iQ EV project was killed before it went very far and the RAV4 EV project with Tesla was always only meant to produce just 2,600 units, but it didn't even get that far. In short, by all public appearances, Toyota just doesn't see the value of a pure EV.
Let's face it, Toyota does not believe in electric cars. Not the battery-powered plug-in kind anyway. Plug-in hybrids? Sure. Fuel cells? As soon as feasible. But a simple EV? No, that just isn't Toyota's thing – a few side projects notwithstanding.
Like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, the Toyota COMS electric vehicle is becoming the Smart INSECT. Unrelated to Daimler's Smart brand, the INSECT (yes, it's an acronym, one that stands for "Information Network Social Electric City Transporter") is a one-seat electric vehicle that is designed to be connected to its driver and the world. The gullwinged INSECT uses "motion sensors, voice recognition and behavior prediction" to make the driver feel tied to the wheels, as well as to his or h
2012 was supposed to be the year the all-electric version of the Toyota/Scion iQ made a splash. Instead, it appears that while it remains technically true that the iQ EV will launch this year, it will be a much, much smaller splash than previously anticipated. According to Reuters, the iQ will have an "extremely limited release."
The graphical representation above really tells the whole story here, but we'll try to offer up a little extra insight anyway. Deloitte Consulting conducted a widespread survey covering several aspects of the automotive industry, and you can read the whole report here. The graph above illustrates just one finding, but it really paints a picture of the overall results of the survey.
The Yes Men were in the news recently for a hoax that put the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's lame position on climate change under the spotlight. This week, Move On and Plug In America are pushing an online campaign to get Toyota to stop funding the Chamber's anti-climate lobbying. The campaign resulted in a large gallery on Flickr that shows Toyota customers calling on the automaker "to stop opposing clean energy" and asks people to write letters to the editor. Plug In America president Dan Davids
Say what you want about electric cars, they can go for a pretty penny on eBay. Recently, electric versions of Toyota's RAV4 have sold for $60,000-$70,000 (way up from the original list price of around $40,000, which also got ten grand or so in tax credits). There's another of these electric SUVs currently for sale on the site. The auction ends Oct. 25 and has been bid up to $11,000 already. This car has under 34,000 miles and the nickel-metal hydride batteries can be expected to last for aroun
The ever-elusive electric RAV4 has once again shown its face. You can set your sights on one of the last of the major automakers' electric vehicles that still run wild in the streets in this eBay auction (by the way, did you know that Microsoft Word will tell you that Ebay is spelled wrong, but eBay is correct? Who took the time to program that into the Word dictionary?). This RAV4 EV currently has a bid of $35,000, but the reserve is not met (the Buy It Now price is $65,000, which is about on p
$15,000 for the batteries? An older battery system seems to be one of the main differences between the most-recent RAV4 EV which sold on eBay for almost $15,000 less than the RAV4 that sold for about $70,000 there about a month ago. As the only somewhat mass-produced, full-size electric vehicle still kicking around that was made by a major auto manufacturer, the RAV4 EV is a unique automobile. The RAV4 EV has been discontinued, but with Toyota's recent announcement that the company would s
The fate of the General Motors electric vehicle, the EV1, has, literally, been documented all over the place. But the fate of electric vehicles from another major automobile manufacturer has been less publicized. Perhaps that's because, unlike GM's EV1 crushing policy, Toyota has announced it will keep all of its RAV4 EVs that are still running on the road "as long as they are safe and it is practical to do so" and "as long as they are sustainable". Toyota said last week that RAV4 EVs can contin