EV Concept Confirms Battery-Electric Vehicle in 2012;
First of 500 Plug-ins Arrive Late '09 to Global Lease-Fleet Customers;
As Many As 10 New Gas-Electric Hybrids by early 2010s
DETROIT, MI, Jan. 10 /CNW/ - Toyota today announced that it will display
the Toyota FT-EV concept on opening Media Day at the North American
International Auto Show (NAIAS), confirming its plan to launch an urban
commuter battery-electric vehicle (BEV) by 2012. This announcement, coupled
with its compressed natural gas powered Camry Hybrid concept display at the
2008 Los Angeles Auto Show, signal Toyota's intention to broaden the scope of
its advanced alternative-fuel vehicle development.
"Now, more than ever, we cannot lose sight of our future," said Stephen
Beatty, Managing Director at Toyota Canada Inc. "Nowhere is this more
important than with our industry's duty and commitment to provide true
sustainable mobility with vehicles that significantly reduce fuel consumption,
our carbon footprint and overall greenhouse gases."
The FT-EV concept shares its platform with the revolutionary-new iQ urban
commuter vehicle. Already a huge hit in Japan, the iQ is lightweight and seats
four passengers in comfort and security, while delivering exceptional mileage,
sporty performance, unique refinements and a fun, youthful image.
Toyota's FT-EV concept imagines an urban dweller, driving up to 80
kilometres between home, work and other forms of public transportation.
Although, for now, the FT-EV remains a pure concept, it represents a natural
pairing of product strategies.
"Last summer's dollar-thirty-a-litre gasoline was no anomaly. It was a
brief glimpse of our future," said Beatty. "We must address the inevitability
of peak oil by developing vehicles powered by alternatives to liquid-oil fuel,
as well as new concepts, like the iQ, that are lighter in weight and smaller
in size. This kind of vehicle, electrified or not, is where our industry must
focus its engineering and innovation."
Although BEVs and new smaller vehicles like the iQ will be a key
component of Toyota's sustainable mobility strategy, the conventional
gas-electric hybrid, like the all new third-generation Prius, is considered
Toyota's long-term core powertrain technology.
Last year, Toyota announced that it planned to sell one million
gas-electric hybrids per year sometime during the early 2010s. To accomplish
this, Toyota will launch as many as 10 new hybrid models by the early 2010s,
in various global markets. The all-new third-generation Toyota Prius and Lexus
HS250h, both debuting in Detroit, are the first two examples of that effort.
Also, last year, Toyota announced that it would roll-out a large number
of plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHVs) to global lease-fleet customers in 2010.
That schedule has been moved up. Beginning in late 2009, Toyota will start
global delivery of 500 Prius PHVs powered by lithium-ion batteries.
The first-generation lithium-ion batteries powering these PHVs will be
built on an assembly line at Toyota's PEVE (Panasonic EV Energy Company, LTD)
battery plant, a joint-venture production facility in which Toyota owns 60 per
cent equity. During its development, the new Prius was designed and engineered
to package either the lithium-ion battery pack with plug-in capability, or the
nickel-metal hydride battery for the conventional gas-electric system.
The 500 PHVs arriving globally in late 2009 will be used for market and
engineering analysis. Lease-fleet customers will monitor the performance and
durability of the first-generation lithium-ion battery, while offering real
world feedback on how future customers might respond to the plug-in process.
"Future customers will have high expectations for these emerging
technologies. This Prius PHV fleet program is a key first step in confirming
how and when we might bring large numbers of plug-in hybrids to global
markets," said Beatty. "Our business is no longer about simply building and
selling cars and trucks. It is about finding solutions to mobility challenges
today and being prepared for more challenges in our very near future."
Digital images available at www.media.toyota.ca.
/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
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website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
members of the media/
For further information:
For further information: email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact: Melanie
Testani, Public Relations Consultant, Toyota Canada Inc., (416) 571-5894