We’ve called Toyota’s Tesla-developed RAV4 EV an “EV insurance policy,” but it seems that Toyota is even hedging its hedges. Automotive News [sub] reports that the Japanese automaker is developing an EV version of its iQ city car in-house, the first in-house EV developed by Toyota for the mass market. If Toyota’s experiment with Tesla fails the way Tesla’s development partnership for the Smart EV with Daimler did, Toyota will be ready with an in-house developed EV. The iQ EV should have a 65 mile range when market-ready, but no date has been given for its launch. Though offering less range than the RAV4 EV, the iQ EV should be considerably cheaper for Toyota to produce… and it keeps the automaker’s engineers in the EV game. As Toyota moves towards a 2015 hydrogen car, it’s plugging EVs into the city car profile where they should remain competitive long-term. This seems to be the model for the future: EVs for short-range city commuting, hydrogen for longer distances, and continuously-improved gasoline cars for those who can’t afford either. The broad-based green car portfolio seems to be the way of the future.
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