Toyota Motor Corp. said Monday
that it will sell a new four-seater compact electric vehicle to
local governments and companies in Japan and the United States
starting in December.
Initially, the Japanese automaker expected to sell thousands of the eQ worldwide. But the company revised the target to about 100 units by taking into account the availability of battery chargers and other factors.
The eQ, based on the iQ compact car and powered by a lithium-ion battery, has a top speed of 125 kilometers per hour. It can travel 100 kilometers on a single charge. The price will be set at 3.6 million yen.
Toyota hopes the eQ will help the automaker build up the business know-how required for full-scale sales of electric vehicles.
Electric vehicles are cheaper than gasoline vehicles in terms of energy costs and suitable for driving short distances in cities, Toyota Vice Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada said.
Toyota also said it will release 21 new hybrid models worldwide and achieve annual global hybrid sales of at least one million units by the end of 2015.
The company also said it will release a fuel cell bus in 2016 currently in development with its Hino Motors Ltd. subsidiary.END
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