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.