From £10,319
All-electric version of iQ makes just as much sense as its petrol-powered sibling

Our Verdict

Toyota iQ
Is this the small car revolution Toyota claims it is?

Is the Toyota IQ the small car revolution which its maker claims it is?

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    Toyota FT-EV III

    All-electric version of iQ makes just as much sense as its petrol-powered sibling
1 December 2011

What is it?

Toyota’s view of our motoring future is that we’ll do most of our short-haul driving in small battery cars — which is why they’ve built an electric version of the petrol-powered Toyota iQ.

Called FT-EV III, the model is presented as the third prong of the Toyota’s grand Hybrid Synergy Drive plan, the others being plug-in hybrid EV and fuel cell hybrid EV.

Though the iQ is tiny and its petrol-powered version is a tour-de-force of packaging, Toyota is keen to demonstrate that an all-electric version is just as sensible: the lithium-ion 11.6 kWh battery (which weighs 166kg) fits neatly beneath the floor, and the transaxle, inverter and 63bhp motor sit happily in the nose in place of the regular petrol engine, with the charging sockets located under a Leaf-style nose flap.

What’s it like?

Within a few yards, the logic of the electric iQ becomes clear. Its tiny dimensions and turning circle suit congested areas extremely well, as do its near-silence and plentiful torque, easily deployed through an intuitive accelerator.

If anything, the electric iQ rides slightly better than the petrol alternative because major masses are lower and more centralised, but there’s hardly anything in it.

The motor develops 120lb ft, drives the front wheels through a transaxle and offers a range of just over 50 miles. A 0-62mph sprint occupies 14.3 seconds, and the car will reach 78mph flat-out, though mostly it’ll be driven more slowly.

Recharging takes three to four hours via a normal household socket. The interior is mostly familiar, though instrumentation now includes range and available power displays instead of a tacho, and drive is selected via a simplified ‘PRND’ quadrant.

Should I buy one?

Like the petrol-powered offshoot, the Toyota FT-EV III just makes sense. Toyota has fulfilled the iQ’s potential as a short-range battery-powered city car, but is still deciding whether it will go on sale and probably won’t bring it to UK.

Toyota FT-EV III

Price: £15k (est); Top speed: 77mph; 0-62mph: 14.3secs; Economy: n/a; Co2: nil, from tailpipe; Kerb weight: 1070kg; Engine type: electric motor; Power: 63bhp; Torque: 120lb ft; EV range: about 50 miles; Gearbox: single-speed transaxle

Join the debate

Comments
9

8 December 2011

If £15,000 excludes the government subsidy, then this car is extremely good value, presuming that you only drive short distances and can live with a long recharging time.

9 December 2011

Certainly looks a far better than something like a G-Wiz for city driving. Safer too.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

12 December 2011

Agree with Teg that this will be a far better city car than the G wiz and all quadracycles and with none of the crash worries, and if that is the price then build it.

12 December 2011

If electric cars have a future in our motoring it will be for the local stuff where the short range isnt a problem, and the zero tailpipe emmissions are of real benefit. So an electric IQ makes sense if any electric does.

12 December 2011

I'd be perfectly happy driving one of these for a daily cross-town commute, if I had one.

12 December 2011

[quote Fidji]If £15,000 excludes the government subsidy[/quote]

Doesn`t the subsidy run out in March 2012 ?

12 December 2011

[quote dervdave][quote Fidji]If £15,000 excludes the government subsidy[/quote]

Doesn`t the subsidy run out in March 2012

[/quote]

The £5k per car subsidy with a maximum fund of £230 million was brought in by the previous government. The current government is committed to review the subsidy in 2012 and has set a limit at currently £43 million total, subject to the 2012 review.

13 December 2011

[quote Autocar]

What is it?


Toyota’s view of our motoring future is that we’ll do most of our short-haul driving in small battery cars — which is why they’ve built an electric version of the petrol-powered Toyota iQ.


Called FT-EV III, the model is presented as the third prong of the Toyota’s grand Hybrid Synergy Drive plan, the others being plug-in hybrid EV and fuel cell hybrid EV.


Though the iQ is tiny and its petrol-powered version is a tour-de-force of packaging, Toyota is keen ...Read the full article

[/quote] Makes more sense than a £42K Volvo hybrid.

13 December 2011

I kinda like the idea, a relatively cheap, city run about with a reasonably short recharge time, wrapped in the funky IQ design

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