We know that Toyota will have its small electric car go on sale in the US in 2012 but understandably, the carmaker has chosen to keep mum about the details.
To get an idea of how it will appear, let's take a look at the Toyota FT-EV II Concept displayed at the ongoing Tokyo Motor Show for clues. FT-EV II (for Future Toyota Electric Vehicle) is seen to be a compact, glassy, short distance electric commuter.
The FT-EV II is clearly based on an iQ but at 2730 mm end to end, the concept car is shorter. What makes the FT-EV II have the ability to carry 4 people is its 1680 mm width and 1490 mm height. For easy entry and exit, Toyota installed twin electric sliding doors.
But don´t get too excited since the doors are not likely to make production due to their added cost and weight. The electric car's lithium-ion battery pack is located under the floor.
The car has no accelerator or brake pedals and instead, we see a joystick that utilizes drive-by-wire technology. This isn´t the first time that we´ve seen the joystick controls. They first appeared on the i-real concept.
Moreover, the concept has a top speed of over 62mph and a fully charged battery allows the car to go 56 miles. Toyota explains that most people won't need an electric range of more than 25 miles for many years anyway.
Unfortunately, the charging infrastructure for these vehicles won´t be built anytime soon. For this reason, Toyota is focusing on developing plug-in hybrids with electric ranges of 20-25 miles; its plug-in Prius is the first such car scheduled for production.