Toyota to Debut Electric FT-EV III Concept at Tokyo Motor Show

By · November 15, 2011

Toyota FT-EV III

Toyota will debut its electric FT-EV III concept at this month's Tokyo Motor Show.

Japanese automaker Toyota will unveil a concept version of its upcoming urban electric city car at the 42nd Tokyo Motor Show, which starts in late November. Dubbed the FT-EV III, Toyota's concept is a zero-emissions vehicle described by the company as an eco-conscious automobile that promises "to replace cars fueled by gasoline." That innocuous
claim is matched by Toyota's equally broad theme for the show: "Mobility can change the world."

The FT-EV III is actually the latest concept version of the soon-to-be-released Scion iQ electric. Toyota claims that the four-seat concept vehicle, with its ultra-compact dimensions and lightweight design, is only "suitable for short-distance trips." With an estimated range of only 65 miles on Japan's lenient JC-08 test cycle—figure an EPA range of about 50 miles—the FT-EV III (and the smaller commuter EV coming to the US) is definitely a range-restricted urban runabout.

The FT-EV should probably be put in the same category as the GM's Chevy Spark, the small limited-production limited-range electric car that was announced last month. The Spark is expected in 2013. Observers believe that the Spark and the iQ electric/FT-EV are mostly produced as low-cost ways to comply with California zero emissions vehicle mandates, rather than to reach a wide market of EV buyers.

Toyota will launch the Scion iQ electric vehicle in the US by the end of 2012. It's believed that less than 100 electric iQs will arrive in the US in 2012 and that the vast majority of the cars will be sold to fleets in California.

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