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Tech Monday, September 24th 2012 at 1:45 pm

Toyota Gets Cold Feet, Backs Off Big Electric Car Release

Toyota introduced an all-electric variant of its iQ minicar, called the eQ, back in 2010, but the actual development of the vehicle hasn’t apparently been all unicorns and sunshine. The car company has revealed that they’ve backed off their rather grandiose plans and will now only sell about 100 of the eQ variants in the United States and Japan.

Toyota will instead be focusing on hybrid vehicles until such a time that purely electric vehicles become more viable. Reuters explains the company’s reasoning:

Toyota said it was putting its emphasis on that technology, an area in which it is the established leader. Toyota said on Monday it expected to have 21 hybrid gas-electric models like the Prius in its line-up by 2015. Of that total, 14 of the new hybrids will be all-new, the automaker said.

Toyota has previously said that it expects to have a hybrid variant available for every vehicle it sells. In a gas-electric hybrid like the Prius, a battery captures energy from the brakes to provide a supplement to the combustion engine, boosting overall mileage, particularly in stop-and-go city traffic.

For the time being, Toyota’s all-electric offerings will be limited to an upcoming RAV4 model. For most folks, that’s probably one all-electric vehicle too many.

(via Reuters)

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