Toyota is adding a second battery-electric vehicle to its U.S. line-up, a lithium-ion-powered version of its Scion iQ microcar. But plans for the new green machine underscore the Japanese giant’s continued skepticism about the near to mid-term potential of battery-electric propulsion.
As with the Toyota RAV4-EV introduced earlier this year, the Scion iQ will be produced in relatively low numbers – and it will be targeted at campus and urban car-sharing programs rather than being sold directly to consumers, the maker reveals.
Just 90 of the electric microcars will be delivered to the U.S. initially. Toyota plans to reveal further details of who will get the iQ, and where, in the coming weeks.
“Toyota believes battery-electric vehicles have the potential to play a role in future mobility strategies,” says Chris Hostetter, TMS group vice president of strategic planning. “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.”