Electric cars are not the future, even in Europe where public perception of gas alternative mobility solutions is significantly more favorable. That, at least, is the opinion of the world’s largest automaker, as expressed by Toyota Motor Europe CEO Didier Leroy at the Paris Motor Show this week.
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Essentially a rebadged and restyled version of the Toyota iQ that’s been on sale in Europe and Japan for several years, when the Scion model does arrive it will get a 1.3-liter 4-cylinder making 99-hp.
Toyota has already announced plans to test an iQ EV in Europe and the Scion model is expected to use the same lithium-ion battery pack and electric motor with a targeted 65 mile range. Placing the batteries low in the floor of the car it should deliver a lower center of gravity and promises to maintain the cars 3+1 seating arrangement.
Also in 2012 Toyota will launch a second EV, based on the RAV4 and using battery technology from Tesla.
And while 2012 will be an important year for Toyota’s electric car efforts, the Prius will continue to be the focus of the brand’s green efforts with the launch of the Prius PHEV, with an emissions-free 12-mile electric range before switching over to act like a conventional hybrid.
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Set to debut at the Geneva Auto Show in March, the car uses a lithium-ion battery located under the floor. As a result it doesn’t take up any passenger space and with all the weight down-low, it also improves the car’s center of gravity.
The car’s range is set at 65 miles and a leasing program is set to begin in Europe in 2012. A similar program will then be launched in the U.S.
Get more Toyota/Scion iQ news and info at iQ-Forums.com