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The vehicle uses lithium ion batteries and features a relatively short 56-mile range. The vehicle itself is very producible recycling Toyota systems, but the interior, pictured here, is rather outlandish.

The vehicle uses lithium ion batteries and features a relatively short 56-mile range. The vehicle itself is very producible recycling Toyota systems, but the interior, pictured here, is rather outlandish.
Toyota may opt not be the only major automaker left out of the electric vehicle market

Throughout much of the Nineties and early part of this decade, hydrogen and hydrogen fuel cells were billed ad the future of vehicle propulsion.  However, over the past couple years hydrogen plans have been going quickly from solid state to vaporous form.  With Obama flatly refusing to fund hydrogen vehicle research and instead focusing government resources of electric vehicles, and with the Germans favoring electric (in addition to clean diesel), the Japanese automakers who invested so much in bringing a vision of clean hydrogen vehicles to market are left with a major decision.

Just this week, Honda's CEO indicating his company might shelve hydrogen plans and turn to electric vehicles in the near term.  He cited frustrations with deploying a fueling infrastructure in the U.S. as a major cause for considering turning away from hydrogen.

Now Toyota has debuted a new prototype, raising questions about whether it may be pondering an electric leap of its own.  The new prototype is dubbed the FT-EVII (FT = "Future Tech") and made a star appearance at the 2009 Tokyo Auto Show.

More rounded and bulbous than Honda's electric vehicle prototype, the FT-EVII is built largely from existing Toyota technologies, including the iQ platform and components from its Synergy hybrid system.  The iQ is a platform of small, fuel-efficient gas and diesel vehicles sold in Japan and the U.K.  No iQs are sold in the U.S although Toyota is rumored to be bringing the gasoline version here under the Scion nameplate.

Despite trashing lithium ion batteries in a recent interview, Toyota's EV relies on them as an integral component of the powertrain.  Toyota still uses nickel-metal-hydride power pack designs in most of its hybrids, including the Toyota Prius.

An interesting thing to note about the FT-EVII is that it has a range of 56 miles -- less than the soon to be released Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi iMiev all-electrics, which have a range of 100+ miles.  This will likely limit potential sales to urban drivers.  Toyota is reportedly sticking with shorter ranges for potential commercial deployment.  This might not be entirely bad, as the vehicles would still appeal to a massive populations living in the world's large cities, such as Tokyo, London, and New York.

While most of the vehicle's mechanics are very feasible, and actually close to being a producible design, the vehicle features an outlandish control yoke and interior design.  The vehicle also features sliding doors, another unusual feature.

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By Screwballl on 10/22/2009 4:49:30 PM , Rating: 0
looks like something you see a school kid doing to the bus window as it drives by (mooning).

This car may work well..... for anywhere except the US and Canada. Sure may be fine for some running around town, but considering the amount of travel most Americans do, this car will not sell very well IF it is ever brought to the US... we want to be able to drive 300+ miles per tank, especially when we are driving across states that are the same size or bigger than most countries. Considering over half the US is still considered to be rural, this means a VERY small market for these type of cars. This is also why these azntrash Prius cars have also not sold worth a damn compared to the rest of the available cars.

RE: tiny
By Screwballl on 10/22/2009 4:52:14 PM , Rating: 3
forgot to mention the VW cars that seem to be selling very well in the US now, because they get 66 MPG and are not battery or hybrids...

RE: tiny
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 10/23/2009 7:13:32 AM , Rating: 3
And everyone forgot how unreliable they are since no one has bought them for awhile.

RE: tiny
By randomposter on 10/22/2009 5:05:32 PM , Rating: 2
You might want to check your facts - the Prius has been selling exceptionally well.

And way more than half the US population lives in cities rather than the country. Maybe back in the 1800s your statement would have been true but today well over 80% of people live in cities.

RE: tiny
By TMV192 on 10/22/2009 5:37:17 PM , Rating: 2
actually both of you are wrong, after the big suburbanization in the 20th century, over 50% Americans live in suburbs (the >80% rating is for both cities and suburbs combined)

RE: tiny
By Samus on 10/22/2009 5:55:39 PM , Rating: 2
reminds me of the "johnny cab" in total recall. sliding doors, control yoke, electric, etc etc :)

"pay your bill"

RE: tiny
By Bateluer on 10/22/2009 5:14:33 PM , Rating: 2
Prius not selling well? They can't keep them on the lots they sell so fast.

That said, these EV cars are hideous. I normally don't care much for a car's looks, but even I wouldn't be caught dead driving one of these.

RE: tiny
By ArcliteHawaii on 10/22/2009 5:40:32 PM , Rating: 2
Well, if it's a choice between this and walking...

Energy density of batteries is the main reason why EVs are so small. Smaller cars require less energy to move.

RE: tiny
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 10/23/2009 7:15:28 AM , Rating: 3
In Japan they are into cute, which is not a popular US design philosophy. Americans like cars that somehow look menacing. I guess compensating for something.
Anyway, this news is almost a year old. This was shown in Japan in January 2009.

RE: tiny
By Spuke on 10/23/2009 6:46:10 PM , Rating: 2
Americans like cars that somehow look menacing. I guess compensating for something.
WTF? We don't like the same designs as the Japanese so the designs we do prefer are compensating for something? Americans don't like "menacing" designs, we like non-polarized designs. And "cute" is polarizing. Radical doesn't sell well here at all. Look at at our best selling cars. Plain, plain, plain. Not menacing and not cute but most definitely boring.

For those that obviously don't know sh!t about American culture, we're working class people. Most of us are just plain, regular, unassuming folk. Not the retards you see on TV. TV "America" is SOOOOOO damn far from reality it's hilarious to watch (which is why reality TV is so popular here). Like Flavor Flav once said (commenting on actors/actresses) on a record many years ago, "don't nobody look like that, nobody even live that..."

"Don't believe the hype."

RE: tiny
By Spuke on 10/23/2009 6:34:22 PM , Rating: 2
Prius not selling well? They can't keep them on the lots they sell so fast.
They can't keep them on the lots because all of the automakers have scaled their inventories WAY back because of the recession. Damn near every car is down from the year before with the Fusion, Jetta, Lexus RX, Escape, and RAV4 being the only cars in the Top 20 that are UP from last year.

That said, sales of the Prius are pretty good. Toyota sold 11,000 last month which puts it at number 11 in sales in the US which is 1% better than August. The Ford F Series STILL tops the charts at 34,000 up 3.5% from August.

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch

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