Toyota has revealed that its eagerly anticipated iQ-based all-electric car will receive its own individual body-style makeover, to create a stand-alone model set to become Toyota’s first all-electric car.
It appears that the electric iQ, due for launch in 2010, will not be pushed in the same market sectors as the original. Speaking about the strategy Hiroki Nakajima, chief engineer for the iQ said, “We wanted to position the iQ as premium, but not so the BEV (battery electric vehicle).” Perhaps they think that your average EV user is a little more low-rent than other drivers?
The electric version will feature an individual electric motor in every wheel. In another company first, the model will also become the first mass-production Toyota to use li-ion batteries, with a full top-up taking around eight hours and enabling a range of 150km (93 miles).
According to Nakajima, “Our target is for customers to be able to charge it completely during the night.”
Further refinements to the li-ion set-up will also be made following a company trial of the technology on a fleet of Prius PHEVs later this year
In good news for fans of funky urban runarounds, Toyota has also unveiled plans to introduce customisation packages for the iQ in the style of the Fiat 500 and Mini. At this stage the firm have not released any firm dates for the changes, but insiders speculate that they could coincide with a mid-life facelift due around 2011.
Image Credit – Toyota