Get ready to use that electrical outlet in your garage for something more than the occasional power tool or to plug-up the outside Christmas lights…
Toyota Motor Corp. has just announced plans to sell a tiny, battery-powered car in the U.S. by 2012 that can be recharged at that garage electrical outlet! The FT-EV urban commuter as Toyota calls it will be a two-door electric car, similar to the Daimler “SmartCar”, seat 4 people and travel at least 50 miles “between home and work for example” between plug charges.
Toyota readies the FT-EV as alternatives to gasoline vehicles expands. Spring and summer 2008 $4/gallon gas prices were no anomaly, but rather a preview of what is coming and possibly as fast as a “freight train”.
Toyota also plans to place into leased fleet service this year 500 plug-in Prius Hybrids with lithium-ion battery packs. It is estimated that approximately 150 of these will be in the U.S. Toyota hasn’t announced when plug-in Prius Hybrids, which can be recharged by a “garage outlet” will be sold to individuals.
Current hybris such as Prius as well as others sold by Honda, GM, Nissan, Ford, and Mazda use nickel-metal-hydride batteries that recharge from braking and deceleration when the vehicle is in motion.