Geneva MS 2011: European premiere — Toyota EV prototype for urban mobility
— Almost 40 years of experience in electric vehicle development
— Toyota's vision for short range sustainable mobility
— First trials in Europe in 2011
Toyota's Electric Vehicle Development and Testing History
Toyota's engineers have been involved in Electric Vehicle (EV) research and development since 1971. In parallel with the company's pioneering full Hybrid (HV), Plug-in Hybrid (PHV) and Fuel Cell Hybrid (FCHV) vehicles, the EV represents Toyota's long-term vision for short range sustainable mobility.
Key to EV development are the battery and motor control systems that Toyota has created and fine-tuned through its hybrid vehicle programme. And the company uses its readily adaptable Hybrid Synergy Drive® technology as the platform on which to build its EV powertrain.
To date, Toyota has developed several types of EVs, including a two—passenger concept — the e-com and a SUV — the RAV4 EV.
The Toyota e-com is a concept car that was first unveiled at the 1997 Tokyo Motor Show. It is a compact, two-passenger vehicle that shares much of its EV technology and powertrain components with the larger RAV4 EV.
The e-com produces no emissions, and can run at speeds of up to 100km/h for approximately 100km on a single charge. It could be recharged using a standard, 100V household current, making it ideal for urban use.
By 2000, Toyota had a fleet of around 30 e-coms in use in Japan. More recently, the transportation and distribution company TNT (Thomas Nationwide Transport) has been running trials with an e-com EV for its mail distribution in Brussels.
By 1995, Toyota was highly focused on the possibility of bringing a viable electric vehicle to the market. Its first generation RAV4 EV represented the successful culmination of all the company had learned over the past 40 years. Indeed, the first prototype won the Scandinavian Electric Car Rally in August of that year.
The RAV4 EV addressed some of the most common challenges faced by EVs. To increase range, for example, Toyota created a light and compact powertrain designed to boost battery efficiency while minimising power loss. In addition, a regenerative braking system allowed the RAV4 EV to recover kinetic energy during deceleration, converting it into electricity to recharge the battery.
These advances equipped the RAV4 EV with one of the best cruising ranges of any electric vehicle in the world — more than 120 miles (200km) on a single charge. Since it was released in 1997, 1500 have been sold in the United States — half of them are still on the road.
Second Generation RAV4 EV Partnership with Tesla — EV on Sale in the United States in 2012
In May 2010, Toyota Motor Corporation and Tesla Motors Inc announced their cooperation in the development of electric vehicles and parts. In July, the two companies initiated the development of an electric vehicle combining Toyota's RAV4 EV with a Tesla electric powertrain.
With the aim of marketing a new EV in the United States in 2012, a total of 35 vehicles will be built for a demonstration and evaluation programme in 2011. The electric car will have a target range of 100 miles under real world driving conditions, irrespective of climate conditions.
Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America's (TEMA) Technical Centre in Michigan led the second generation RAV4 EV production model programme, designed to reduce development time without compromising product quality.
Tesla is in charge of building and supplying the battery and other related components, meeting specific Toyota engineering specifications in performance, quality and durability. Toyota is responsible for all other aspects of development and manufacturing, including the integration of the powertrain within the new EV.
Electric Vehicles — Paving the Way for Emission-free Urban Mobility
The demand for short range vehicles is expected to increase in the coming years.
However, major challenges still remain in the fields of driving range and performance, battery technology, product price, the means of electricity generation in the context of an EV's well-to-wheel CO2 emissions, and the development and availability of a recharging infrastructure.
As a primary mode of transportation, EVs do not yet have the range to offer what most customers see as true mobility. Moreover, impacting strongly on vehicle price, the cost of lithium-ion batteries needs to be reduced significantly, or a more affordable alternative found.
Though battery technology has progressed significantly in the last 10 years, EV performance and range remains significantly behind that of comparable gasoline-powered vehicles.
Electricity has high potential as an alternative energy source to oil. However, though it can be supplied easily, its production from renewable sources such as solar, wind and hydro-electric power is fundamental in minimising an EV's well-to-wheel CO2 emissions.
Most significantly, the development and availability of a recharging infrastructure is fundamental to the immediate and widespread introduction of EVs. To date, its absence continues to hinder market acceptance of the battery electric concept.
To that end, Toyota Motor Corporation, Nissan Motor Company, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, Fuji Heavy Industries and Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) have formally established the 'CHAdeMO Association'.
With these five companies as its executive members, the CHAdeMO Association is committed to the rapid development of a standardised, quick-charge infrastructure for worldwide installation.
As of today, more than 300 businesses and government bodies — including over 50 international companies — are members of the Association. They include car manufacturers, electricity utilities, charger manufacturers, charging service providers and other supporting groups.
This breadth of technical expertise will enable the Association to focus on every aspect of charging infrastructure development, from technical improvements in quick charger design and the standardisation of charging methods, to the international dissemination of knowledge related to quick charger installation.
Toyota's Electric Vehicle Prototype
Toyota's latest EV Prototype makes its European debut at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. It represents the installation of an all-electric powertrain within a Toyota iQ package, combining compact city car agility with zero emissions and the easy, silent driving of a fully electric vehicle for four passengers.
Front wheel drive is provided by a 47kW permanent magnet synchronous electric motor powered by an 11kWh capacity and a 270V lithium-ion battery located beneath the seats. The intelligent use of a new, flat battery design offers no compromise on passenger accommodation or loadspace.
The EV Prototype will accelerate from 0-100km/h in 14 seconds, has a maximum speed of 125km/h and has a driving range of up to 105km . Two charging sockets catering for 100/200V AC and quick charge DC power are located at the very front of the vehicle. They allow the vehicle to be fully charged from a 200V supply in four hours, and 80% charged from a DC quick charge station in about 15 minutes. Additionally, a regenerative braking system will recover power during deceleration or under braking.
The new Toyota EV will undergo trials in Europe, Japan and the United States during 2011.