According to automotive news, Toyota will introduce three new green cars in 2012, with the cars using different eco pathways.
A company source told autonews that the automotive producer will release a new plug-in version of the Prius, another incarnation of the Prius and a battery electric car.
Early media reports indicate that the aforementioned mysterious version of the Prius might be a minivan. The vehicle could use three rows of seats and will be able to accommodate up to seven passengers. Its powertrain is said to use lithium-ion battery technology, with the vehicle using solutions that maximize the systems’s efficiency, such as optimized aerodynamics and low overall weight.
The Japanese automotive producer will create a Prius sub-brand for its eco vehicles, but the cars that belong to it will still use Toyota badging.
The battery electric car could be borrowing technological and design features from Toyota’s FT-EV II concept. The study uses lithium-ion batteries that offer it a maximum driving range of 55 miles (90 km) and a top speed of 60 mph (100 km/h). It could be based on the production Toyota IQ minicar. The EV could only be offered on certain markets that offer adequate infrastructure.
Toyota will also promote its new electric vehicles using an innovative marketing campaign that will underline the vehicles’ eco-friendliness.
In addition to developing the three new EVs, Toyota is also collaborating with Tesla for the development of electric versions for the Toyota RAV4 and Lexus RX.