While Toyota is going to launch a plug-in hybrid version of the Prius soon, the company isn’t backing away from all-electric cars. We recently learned that Toyota will be showing off an all-electric prototype version of its popular iQ model at the Geneva auto show next month.
The three-seater prototype will have an electric powertrain based on Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system, which will feature a flat lithium-ion battery pack — giving the car a range of about 65 miles on a single charge. Considering the car’s size and small range, this EV is clearly meant to be used in urban settings.
The car is expected be officially released in 2012, and it will initially be available for lease in Europe (as part of a pilot test), after which it will hit North American markets.
Toyota is currently also working with Tesla to build an all-electric RAV4 compact SUV, which will hit markets in 2012. While the Prius is definitely the most dominant hybrid around, it’s nice to see Toyota moving into other alt-fuel territories.