October 18th, 2012 by Steve Cypher

Toyota announces an urban centered rollout of its diminutive electric city car

In the streets and on campus

Unlike the larger Nissan Leaf, Toyota is taking a decidedly more conservative approach in introducing the all-electric version of the pocket-sized Scion iQ to drivers in the U.S. market as evidenced by a press release it issued yesterday.

Rather than build a bunch of EVs and have them languish in dealer lots waiting for $5.00 per gallon gas, Toyota plans on releasing just 90 Scion iQ EVs to car-sharing programs in what it calls “urban and campus environments.”

Chris Hostetter, group vice president of strategic planning at Toyota Motor Sales has announced that “Approximately 90 iQ EVs will be available for fleet and car-sharing applications. 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).”

Scion iQ EV update

The iQ EV, it should be pointed out, takes Toyota’s battery program a step further by employing the company’s newly developed high-output lithium-ion battery. Engineered to consume power at the comparatively paltry rate of 104 Wh/km (168.62 Wh/mile or 200.5 MPGe), the technology is also a much better fit for the city-friendly iQ EV (78-inch wheelbase, 13.5 foot turning radius) as its both lighter and more compact than the Nickel Metal Hydride-based battery found in the Prius hybrid.

According to Toyota, “In ideal stop and go driving conditions, the 12 kWh battery provides an estimated range of up to 50 miles on a full charge.” In addition, a full charge from a 240V source will take approximately three hours.

Other aspects of the program are sketchy at this point with Toyota noting that details of individual iQ EV program partners will be announced in coming weeks.

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