Toyota just unveiled its brand new 2013 iQ EV minicar while simultaneously announcing that it will drop its initial production plans for the tiny electric vehicle. Toyota decided to nix its widespread sales plan for the iQ EV based upon fears that it “misread the market” and that the current battery technology electric vehicles rely on is insufficient.

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“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,” said, Takeshi Uchiyamada, Toyota’s vice chairman and the engineer who oversees vehicle development. Uchiyamada also led Toyota’s development of the first Prius hybrid.

The 2013 Toyota iQ EV is a few inches longer than the standard iQ and is powered by a 47kW electric motor with a driving range of 53 miles. In 2010 Toyota announced plans to sell several thousand units per year of the iQ EV, but now it’s being reported that only 100 units will be sold in Japan and the U.S. Now that Toyota has essentially dropped its plans for the iQ EV, that only leaves one other full electric model in the Toyota lineup, the Toyota RAV4 EV. The RAV4 EV borrows its electric powertrain from Tesla and has a longer driving range than the iQ EV. Toyota only expects to sell 2,600 units over the next three years, which is a small number compared to the 38,000 Nissan LEAFs that Nissan has sold in the last two years.

On a more positive note Toyota announced today that it expects have 21 hybrid gas-electric models in its line-up by 2015, with 14 of them being all-new.

+ Toyota

Via Automotive News