Toyota FT-EV

The Toyota FT-EV was debuted at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. From the press release:

We see the FT-EV concept as a great vehicle for the urban commuter. It is ideal for someone who drives fewer than 50 miles a day, mostly on flat surface streets, and has easy access to recharging options, such as a personal garage or a recharging station on a city street. While this vehicle will be perfect for the urban setting, it might not be the best solution for the rural dweller. This is why we continue to look at various technologies, such as the compressed natural gas Camry Hybrid concept that was shown at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show.

It’s not a bike, but I want one anyway. :-)


11 Responses to “Toyota FT-EV”

  • brad says:

    It’s quite similar in design to the Echo Hatchback, which never went on sale in the US but was very popular here in Canada. The EV is a little shorter, though…not much room in that trunk!

  • Thom says:

    Yeah, with so little cargo capacity, if you’re traveling less than 50 miles per day on flat urban surface streets, you might as well ride a bike!

  • Eddie says:

    I’m partial to the Smorvette:

  • SI Reasoning says:

    Personally, for flat roads and 50 mile or less round trips, you can’t beat a Lightfoot trike, especially ones like the Roadrunner or Courier. These have ample storage space for most needs (and you can always add a trailer if your needs are extreme.) I have hauled a refrigerator about 15 miles over two mountains in a Roadrunner (as the compound gearing will get you gears low enough for some serious hauling uphill.) I really see no benefit to having an electric car over such short distances and on a flat terrain. The trike can practically run itself on the flats, regardless of weight. However, you do feel the weight when climbing (and I live in the foothills of the Appalachians ) but their gearing more than makes up for it (and I do look forward to climbs in the winter.)

  • andy parmentier says:

    i like the bombardier’s motorcycle trike, (canadian) and grinnall’s trike (british).
    cars are like land animals, in the sense of having 4 limbs/wheels, tadpole trikes are like birds/fish, with their aerodynamically
    efficient tapering profile from front to back.

  • andy parmentier says:

    i like the birdflight-like experience of bicycling, (birds have 2 feet, so do cyclists)
    i also like the idea of hybrid energy, whether human/electric, or human/canid (e.g. the
    i like how birds have the option of flight or feet..the roadrunner bird of the southwest
    knows how to fly, but prefers to run. this is another take on the idea of “hybrid” ergo
    hybrid locomotion. which relates to today’s other ecovelo post, public transit for cyclists.

  • honza galla says:

    I like the Aptera more. I think that Aptera is really an amazing brake through “car-motorbike-vehicle”…

  • andy parmentier says:

    thank you galla for the aptera heads up. my new favorite road runner, at least the kind
    you don’t pedal. i’ve got ideas for a hybrid hot air balloon/aircraft (it floats, it flies).
    but for now in this pauper existence i go for balloon tire western flyers

  • Teck says:

    Pack a couple of folding bikes in there and it’s a great commuting option!


  • Nanda says:

    I love the Toyota IQ, which is what this EV is based on.

    Also got a friend on the Aptera waiting list.

    Good to see some alternative EV’s on EVelo :)

  • Roland Smith says:

    The thing with battery electric vehicles is that they’re not really green/sustainable/environmently friendly, beyond reducing emissions around roads.

    First and foremost, they run on electricity that is still for the most part produced with fossil fuels.

    Of course you could put solar panels on your roof to collect energy from the sun, but that would currently be much more expensive. And production of PV cells (akin to the fabrication of integrated circuit chips) costs a lot of energy and uses lots of water and chemicals. Micro Concentrated Solar Power is just becoming available but isn’t much more efficient and probably needs more maintenance.

    Second there are the batteries. Even the best batteries cannot come close to the energy densities of liquid fuels, so range will be limited. Lithium-ion batteries are quite popular with the makers of electronic cars and gagdets, but it is questionable if there are enough winnable reserves to slake the global thirst for li-ion batteries. I’m not sure whether any battery fabrication technology can be characterized as environmently friendly, due to the processes needed to win and refine the components. And there is the recall rate because of fire risk, which seems to be around 1%, which would be totally unacceptable. Imagine that 1% of gasoline cars might spontaneously burst into flames…

    Another future storage technology might by ultracapacitators, but the only company claiming a higher energy density than batteries (EEstor) is currently only selling vaporware.

    I’m convinced that the technology of energy storage will continue to improve, so I would consider that a solvable problem. Generating sufficient energy to meet global demand from renewable sources will be much harder, IMHO. So we will need to reduce our energy consumption. Using a bike for transportation is a good step toward that, IMHO.

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