2013 Scion iQ EV Arrives – But Only for a Few
Published October 22, 2012
Toyota’s recent announcements regarding it’s electric vehicle [EV] program seem, at best, to be wishy-washy. This month, Toyota released the 2013 Toyota RAV4 EV, which features an electric drive-train co-developed with Tesla Motors. Toyota also announced plans for an EV version of the Scion iQ, an ultra-compact vehicle which only saw limited release here in the US.
It seemed like only weeks before news emerged that the Scion iQ EV [Toyota eQ in Japan], would not be released. True, the market for EVs is still developing, and the hardest thing to change isn’t technology, but the mind. The general driving public just isn’t ready to accept the EV into their lifestyle, at least here in the US.
The 2013 Scion iQ EV’s 47 kW motor and 12kWh lithium-ion battery pack has about 50 miles estimated range, and takes three hours to fully charge on an L2-240V charging system. The iQ development team focused mainly on power conservation, including compact and lightweight body design, power-saving electronics, as well as regenerative braking.
Despite conflicting reports that Toyota would, or would not, continue its EV program, Toyota confirmed that the Scion iQ EV would indeed see a limited release in the US. Production started at Toyota’s Takaoka Plant in Toyota City, in September 2012. Toyota, for now, seems content to run EV pilot programs: “Approximately 90 iQ EVs will be available for fleet and car-sharing applications,” said Chris Hostetter, Toyota Motor Sales 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,” continued Hostetter.
I’m not certain why the driving public just can’t get their heads out of the cloud of greenhouse gases long enough to realize that we need this kind of technology on the roads. EVs could be the cleanest vehicles on the road, but unless they go mainstream, we’ll never realize the benefits. EVs can be cool, and they can be economical. Technology will assure the economical part, but only a serious attitude adjustment will make them cool enough to drive en masse.
Categories: Production Cars