Wednesday 6 October 2010

Toyota verifies four new eco-models

Toyota has confirmed four new eco-models within the next three years, one plug-in hybrid, one hybrid and two EVs. The models in question are the advanced 'plug-in' Prius, hybrid version of the forthcoming Yaris supermini, iQ city-car and RAV4 compact SUV EVs.

The plug-in Prius will be Toyota's initial lithium-ion powered hybrid, landing in 2012. Toyota said it will drink petrol at the rate of 2.6l/100km and emit a mere 59g/km of CO2 per kilometre.

The plug-in Prius won’t be advertised as a “range extender” because, like the current Prius, it won’t be a strict EV supported up by a generator. Though, it will be able to travel 12 miles on electric power alone.

In the same year, a nickel-metal-hydride hybrid Yaris will arrive on the market. It will be made in Valenciennes, France, alongside the regular Yaris, and is expected to use a smaller petrol engine – like the 1.0 VVT-i or 1.33 VVT-i – than the current Prius with CO2 emissions of 80g/km.

Toyota is also working to commercialise two low-volume EVs for 2012. The first will be a electric variant of the iQ city-car, competent of roughly maximum of 60mph and 60 miles of range. The car will be built in Japan, and Toyota GB has yet to decide if it will be obtainable in the UK.

The second EV is more likely to be sold in the UK; a RAV4 compact SUV EV built principally for the U.S market, and powered by a Tesla lithium-ion battery. It’s expected in the UK by 2013.

Hydrogen fuel cell models are still a out of off vision for Toyota, but its latest guess is that Toyota will be ready to make one by 2015, provided the refuelling infrastructure is in place to support it.

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