After reporting that the Japanese automaker Toyota is planning to build a hybrid version of the Yaris compact city car yesterday, today it is time to move our attention to something even more environmentally conscious, the even smaller Toyota iQ. That is because Toyota plans to produce their first production EV when the BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) variant of the iQ for 2010.
According to iQ’s chief engineer, Hiroki Nakajima, the all-electric iQ will feature in-wheel motors: "In every wheel we had to be able to fit an electric motor." It will also be the first Toyota mass-production model to use lithium ion batteries and will take about 8 hours to fully charge. “Our target is for customers to be able to charge it completely during the night,” and will have a range of 93 miles, more than enough for commuting or around town driving.
In an attempt to dispel the new car buying public’s belief that small means low cost, Nakajima said: “We wanted to position the iQ as premium,” so the BEV version will receive distinct bodywork from the standard iQ and "will get a much better interior” according to the chief engineer. Toyota is a company known for building a well built reliable product so perhaps they can convert a few electric skeptics as well.