While other automakers hem and haw about the potential for electric vehicles to make it big, Toyota is charging ahead with three new plug-in EVs for 2012. What can future EV drivers expect from the company?
Unsurprisingly, one of Toyota's new EVs is a plug-in version of the ever-popular Prius. At $33,000, the vehicle is comparable in price to the Nissan Leaf—but it has the added cache of the Prius brand. The car will also have an all-electric range of 14 miles, which should be plenty of juice for city-goers.
For customers who don't need all the space that the Prius has to offer, Toyota is also selling an electric version of the Scion IQ—a smaller vehicle that is just slightly longer than the Smart ForTwo. No word yet on pricing, but AllCarsElectric says that the gasoline-powered version is already popular in Europe and Japan.
Finally, for more rugged drivers, Toyota confirmed this month that it will offer the RAV4 with an electric drivetrain developed as part of its partnership with Tesla Motors. Toyota claims that the vehicle will have the same luggage capacity and similar performance to its gasoline-powered counterpart.
It's hard to say whether Toyota will succeed with its EV play; automakers like BMW still believe that widespread adoption of EV technology is years away. Then again, Toyota revolutionized the hybrid market with the Prius—why can't it do the same with the electric car?