Reaffirming its intent to add an urban commuter battery-electric vehicle (BEV) to its production portfolio by 2012,
Toyota unveiled this petite one-off called the FT-EV. The FT-EV (for Future Toyota-Electric Vehicle) shares its basic platform architecture with the new iQ, a four-passenger city slicker on sale now in Japan. While the iQ is powered by a conventional 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine, the FT-EV uses a Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery pack to drive an electric motor. Toyota says the FT-EV can travel up to 50 miles on a single charge and indicated that the concept is a viable package that offers a realistic approximation of a new, small BEV that will be introduced sometime during the next 24 months. Beyond BEV programs, Toyota will accelerate the rollout schedule of its plug-in
hybrid contingent from 2010 to late 2009, when the first of 500 plug-in Prius models equipped with new Li-ion battery packs will go into service.