Toyota are to take the Toyota EV Prototype to Geneva, a Toyota iQ-based city car with the electric bits from the Prius Plug-in.
It’s well-known we hold no truck with the motor industry trying to portray the electric car as a replacement for the ICE car. It’s palpable nonsense. But a compact electric car with a short city range – now that floats our boat.
So news that Toyota are to give their Toyota EV Prototype an outing at Geneva is good news. As is the news that the Toyota EV is being tested all over the Continent with a view to a lease programme in 2012. Just what car companies should be doing with electric cars.
But what is the Toyota EV Prototype? Simple, it’s a Toyota iQ – already a fine little City car – with the ICE bits removed and the electrickery bits from the HSD (that’s the Prius gubbins, for the uninitiated) bolted in.
The electrickery bits actually come from the Plug-in Prius, so the Toyota EV gets the new, flat lithium-ion battery pack which can give a range of up to 65 miles in the EV. In the real world that’s probably a safe 50 miles most of the time – enough from St Pauls to the M25 and back, with change.
The downside to the whole ‘Electric cars are perfect for city dwellers’ argument is that most people who live in cities probably don’t have off-street parking, and so can’t easily recharge their wheels at home. And it’ll probably cost two or three times as much as an ICE City car to lease.
Still, no one said the future was straightforward.