Toyota FT-EV concept - Click above for high-res image gallery
Earlier this year at the Detroit Auto Show, Toyota surprised the audience by showing off a fully electric version of its diminutive iQ city car called the FT-EV. According to Autocar, a production version of the EV should be on the market by 2010, which, if true, would be an impressive feat indeed. We're not sure how these plans to along with Bill Reinert's assertion that electric cars "just aren't plausible right now," but we're happy to see EV technology progressing at the automaker regardless.
Hiroki Nakajima, chief engineer for the iQ, tells the British motoring mag that the electric iQ – known internally as BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) – will not share sheet metal with its gas-powered sibling. "We wanted to position the iQ as premium," he said, "but not so the BEV." That being the case, expect the Goldmember-style accents from the concept to be dropped in production form.
Following successful tests of the technology in its plug-in Prius fleet, the BEV will be the first production application of lithium ion batteries in a Toyota and the target range is 93 miles (150km). Charging time is quoted at eight hours, but that's surely dependent on the specific outlet serving up the charge. Power will come from one electric motor per wheel, potentially making this an all-wheel drive electric vehicle.