Peter Anderson | Sep 25, 2012

Toyota's tiny iQ urban runabout has been electrified, creating the new iQ EV.

Like the regular petrol-powered iQ, this little EV is unlikely to make its way to Australia - and with only 100 units planned, it's not likely to make its way to many places at all.

Speaking with Automotive News this week, Toyota Vice President Takeshi Uchiyamada said that despite slow-but-certain growth in the segment, electric vehicles are not the way forward.

"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," Uchiyamada said.

Instead, Toyota will focus on its growing range of hybrids and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) which combine an electric motor and battery with a small petrol engine.

As for the iQ EV, power is provided by a 47kW/163Nm electric motor, with juice supplied by a 12kW/hr battery pack. The batteries set in a cradle where the petrol car's exhaust goes and hidden by a flat undertray.

Toyota claims a range of 85km and an 80 percent recharge time of fifteen minutes, using an optional rapid recharge outlet. A full recharge takes three hours from a standard power point.

A power port sits under a flap on the re-profiled nose "for maximum ease of charging cable connection within a wide range of urban parking scenarios."

Toyota says the iQ EV weighs just 125kg more than the 1.3 litre petrol on which it is based.

The 0-100km/h of 14 seconds won't even frighten other EV owners and is unlikely to have its top speed of 125km/h tested by many users.

The iQ EV is based on the FT-EV III shown at the 2011 Tokyo Show, with a two-tone black-on-white pearlescent paint job and new headlights incorporating battery-cooling inlets.

Inside, the EV also sports a black-on-white colour scheme and EV-specific trim. The central speedo also displays information about the electrical system on am 9cm screen.

Toyota has swapped out a standard air-conditioning unit and replaced it with a less power-hungry heat pump.

The lack of traditional air-conditioning also meant that a heated windscreen was fitted to clear moisture and, in cold climates, melt ice from the glass.

Instead of a heater, the iQ has heated seats, another energy-saving measure.

Both the air-con and the heated seats can be remotely started with the key as long as the car is plugged in and charging.

As the petrol iQ still hasn't found its way to our shores, the EV isn't likely to pop up anytime soon behind the Aurions and Camrys at your local Toyota dealer.

We're wondering if Aston Martin might now prepare an electric iQ-based Cygnet....

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