By 2015, U.S. President Barack Obama would like to see one million Electric Vehicles (EVs) on the road. But, industry players consider it impossible to achieve. Toyota is no different. The automaker has scrapped plans of widespread selling of its eQ compact electric vehicle. Toyota said that the still-emerging battery technology is not ready to meet the needs of the society.
Toyota revealed that it’ll bring a pure-EV named eQ (in U.S. the name of the car will be iQ EV) that would be able to go 62 miles (100 kilometers) on a single charge. The car will have an electric power consumption rate of 104 watt hours per kilometer and a top speed of 125kph (77mph). But the release will be extremely limited – only 100 cars.
Only 100 cars? Yes, that’s pretty interesting. In 2010, the Toyota Motor Corp. had announced that it was planning to sell several thousands of eQ electric vehicles per year. But that time the company didn’t realize that, within two years the rules of the game would be changed. Toyota’s Vice Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada acknowledged to reporters on September 24, “Two years later, there are many difficulties.”
What did he mean by enunciating the word difficulties? Well, one is business rivals and other is consumer’s expectation. Uchiyamada, who spearheaded Toyota’s development of the Prius hybrid in the 1990s said, “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.”
Toyota is putting its efforts behind hybrid cars, instead. It is planning to launch 21 models of hybrid cars by 2015. At the same time, Toyota is going try its luck with EVs in the U.S. with an all-electric RAV4 model, developed jointly with Tesla Motors. Besides the company has plan to offer a fuel cell vehicle that runs on hydrogen to produce electricity offer 2015. But, these will be all the company is planning to risk over EVs.
Toyota is, however, expecting to sell 2,600 of the electric-powered sports utility vehicles over the next three years. But it has to compete with its two strong rivals for that – General Motors and Nissan.