2009 Toyota FT-EV Concept

Tom Ludwick
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The Toyota FT-EV concept was officially revealed yesterday at the 2009 North American International Auto Show. The battery-electric vehicle is intended to hint at a mass production model that is coming in 2012.

Toyota didn't reveal any specifications about FT-EV or really say much about the concept at all. What it did say is the concept is designed for someone who lives in the city and commutes about 50 miles a day. It also said the FT-EV is built on the same platform as the Toyota iQ city car recently launched in Europe.

The FT-EV is part of Toyota's sustainable mobility strategy. Basically, the plan is to produce vehicles with lower fuel consumption and fewer emissions. By 2010 the company intends to launch as many as 10 new hybrid models in various global markets and to sell one million gas-electric hybrids. It cites the 2010 Prius and Lexus HS250h concept as two examples of that effort.

Toyota also announced that later this year it will begin delivering 500 Prius plug-in hybrid vehicles to global lease-fleet customers, 150 of which will be heading to the U.S. These plug-in models are the first to use lithium-ion batteries that are designed and built by a joint venture between Toyota and Panasonic. Like the Mini E and the Honda FCX Clarity, the vehicles are part of an experiment to gain feedback for future potential vehicles.

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