The teeny 2013 Scion iQ EV will deploy in slight fashion in car-sharing programs on campuses and in urban environments later this year, but only "approximately" 90 of them. Yes, the entire fleet of Toyota's petite iQ EV could fit in one big warehouse. And you can't buy or lease them, you can just rent them for the short term.
The iQ EV itself has decent numbers for a city EV, including a 13.5-foot turning radius thanks to its diminutive 78-inch wheel base. It seats four (well, if two people are itty-bitty) and has a top speed of 78 miles per hour. It uses a 47-kW (63 horsepower) electric motor and a 12-kWh battery to achieve a range of up to 50 miles per charge. That charge takes around three hours using a Level 2, 240V charger and there's an interesting additional feature: a timer that matches "charge completion time with the time the vehicle will actually be driven, to help reduce battery degradation." The iQ EV also has three driving modes – D, B and S – that each emphasize a different aspect of the car. D minimizes power usage in city driving. S gives better acceleration (from zero to 60 in 13.4 seconds). B improves the efficiency of the regenerative brakes.
As for looks, two exterior colors are available, Silver and Super Red, with the top half, rear hatch, battery cooling inlets and front headlamps all accented in black. The charging port is up front, with a charge door where lesser cars have an upper grille. There's even a leather-wrapped seat, so when you hop into one of these rare, shared EVs for a few minutes, you can feel like you're borrowing someone's upscale EV.
90-Vehicle Fleet Deploys by Year's End
Denver, Colo., October 17, 2012 – Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), USA, Inc. today announced the arrival of the 2013 Scion iQ EV in the U.S. The iQ EV is a battery- electric 4-seater city commuter car designed for car-sharing programs, in urban and campus environments.
"Toyota believes battery-electric vehicles have the potential to play a role in future mobility strategies," says Chris Hostetter, group vice president of strategic planning at Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. "Up to now, cost and convenience issues have limited BEV's appeal with a broad consumer market. Toyota developed the iQ EV specifically as a city commuter, for use in an urban environment, where driving distances are likely to be short, charging opportunities numerous, and its compact proportions beneficial."
The iQ EV features Toyota's newly developed high-output lithium-ion battery which delivers a world-class electric power consumption rate of 104 Wh/km in an ultra- compact and lightweight package. In ideal stop and go driving conditions, the 12 kWh battery provides an estimated range of up to 50 miles on a full charge. The vehicle can be fully charged in approximately 3 hours at 240V. Its 78-inch wheel base and 13.5 foot turning radius makes the iQ EV highly maneuverable in congested areas where streets are narrow and parking is at a premium.
"Approximately 90 iQ EVs will be available for fleet and car-sharing applications," said Hostetter. "These programs will further expand Toyota's comprehensive portfolio of advanced technology vehicles which includes the recently-released RAV4 EV, the Prius Family of gas-electric hybrid vehicles, including the Prius Plug-in Hybrid, and the FCHV- Adv (Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle-Advanced)." Details on individual iQ EV program partners will be announced in the coming weeks.
Performance and Efficiency
The iQ EV development process strongly focused on the conservation of power consumption. A compact lightweight body, power-saving electrical equipment, and the application of experience gained from hybrid and plug-in hybrid development resulted in excellent all-around performance. The iQ EV is replete with energy conserving features such as regenerative braking, heat pump air conditioning with a pre-conditioning option, LED high-mounted stop light, heated front seats, and a heated windshield defroster.
The iQ EV is equipped with a timer to match charge completion time with the time the vehicle will actually be driven, to help reduce battery degradation. In addition, there are three driving modes to select from: D range controls the vehicle to use the least amount of power during city driving; S range increases acceleration performance for brisker driving; and a B range that maximizes regenerative braking efficiency. Maximum output from the drivetrain is 47 kW (63 hp) with a maximum torque of 120 lbs.-ft. In S range the iQ EV accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 13.4 seconds, and from 30 to 50 mph in 7 seconds. Its top speed is 78 mph.
The iQ EV's styling is simple and bold. On the exterior, the front bumper's simply constructed charging port lid emphasizes the EV's iconic lack of an upper grille. Its trapezoidal motif highlights the appearance of a low center of gravity. A wide rear bumper conveys a strong stance. Two exterior colors are available: Silver and Super Red. For a sleek impression, the body is two-toned: the upper half and rear hatch are black, a theme that is carried through in the black front headlamp casings, black battery cooling air inlets, and wheel caps which are punctuated with a series of black vents.
The interior features a high-contrast black and white color scheme with metallic and ice-blue accents. The leather wrapped steering wheel and white steering pad cover convey a premium feel. The strongly contoured center console symbolizes the battery mounted below the floor; while the plug patterned seat fabric with blueish-grey and white stitching completes the iconic theme.
Audio Visual Navigation System
The iQ EV is equipped with an HDD navigation system and an exclusive AVN
unit with several EV driving support features. The screen is a refined 7-inch Video Graphics Array LCD, which displays audio information or vehicle information (such as power consumption and energy flow information) in a split screen with the map on the main navigation screen. An available range map displays an estimate of the distance the iQ EV can travel on its current state of charge.
The iQ EV is equipped with 11 SRS (Supplemental Restraint System) airbags
including knee, side, seat cushion, front and rear curtain, and a rear window curtain airbag. The front passenger seat is equipped with an occupant detection system. The iQ EV's multiple load path body is designed to absorb and disperse frontal collision impacts through the body shell. The front tires have been moved forward so collision impacts are dispersed to the tires, helping to reduce impact to the cabin. Other impact dispersing features include front suspension members arranged in a cross hatch pattern and a larger dash cross member for offset impacts. A cross hatched constructed battery frame joined to the body frame helps enhance the rigidity of the cabin and helps disperse the energy of collisions from any angle.
Like all new Toyota vehicles, iQ EV comes standard with the Star Safety SystemTM, which combines Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA) and Smart Stop Technology (SST). The iQ EV is also equipped with Hill start assist control and a vehicle proximity notification system to alert pedestrians of the vehicle's approach.
iQ EV is manufactured at Toyota's Takaoka Plant in Toyota City. Production began in September 2012.