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Toyota eQ
Toyota plans to sell about 100 of its new eQ electric vehicle

Toyota is intent on bringing its eQ EV – the electric version of the Scion iQ -- to the market despite the fact that electric vehicles aren't selling well overall. Toyota competitor Nissan has had a very difficult time selling its electric Leaf EV in the United States and has so far failed to come close to sales goals. By contrast, General Motors has found some success with its extended range electric vehicle the Volt
 
Toyota says that it only wants to sell about 100 of its electric eQ hybrids in the United States and Japan in what it calls an extremely limited release. Toyota had previously expected to sell several thousand eQ vehicles per year when the electric version of the company's iQ mini car was announced in 2010.
 
"Two years later, there are many difficulties," Takeshi Uchiyamada, Toyota's vice chairman and the engineer who oversees vehicle development, told reporters on Monday.
 
Those difficulties undoubtedly involve the fact that consumers are staying away from electric vehicles. Toyota has also dropped plans for a second electric vehicle from its lineup reports Reuters.
 
"The current capabilities of electric vehicles do not meet society's needs, whether it may be the distance the cars can run, or the costs, or how it takes a long time to charge," said, Uchiyamada, who spearheaded Toyota's development of the Prius hybrid in the 1990s.


Toyota eQ interior
 
While Toyota is setting its sights very low for the eQ electric vehicle, the company is more bullish on hybrid vehicles. Toyota reports that it plans to launch 21 new hybrid vehicles over the next three years. Toyota also says that it also wants to have a fuel cell vehicle available by 2015. The fuel cell vehicle will be powered by hydrogen. The biggest challenge that vehicle is likely to face is the availability of hydrogen as a fuel source, which is virtually non-existent.
 
Toyota says that 14 of the new hybrids will be completely new. We can expect that the others will be hybrid versions of existing gasoline-powered vehicles.

Sources: Reuters, Detroit News





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