Filed under: Hybrid , Government/Legal , Recalls , Safety , Hatchback , Toyota Automotive News reports Toyota is recalling a total of 2.77 million vehicles worldwide for faulty water pumps and steering system issues. A total of 670,000 of those are 2004-2009 Prius hybrids sold in the US. Those vehicles are headed back to the dealer, where technicians will inspect the intermediate shaft in the steering column for deformed splines and replace the shaft if necessary. Around 350,000 of those same models will also be inspected for a faulty electric water pump. In some cases, the motor driving the pump could stop, causing the electric motor to overheat and stop functioning while being driven. Toyota has not received any reports of accidents as a result of either problem, and says the inspections and replacement work should be completed in around one hour. The recalls also affect 496,000 vehicles in Europe and a further 1.5 million in Japan. All told, the steering shaft recall covers 10 models worldwide, including the Corolla and Wish models manufactured in Japan between 2000 and 2009. Five models are affected by the water pump recall, though we’re still waiting for confirmation from Toyota as to which they are. You can read the full Toyota press release below , covering the US-spec Prius issues, for more information.
Filed under: Hatchback , Toyota , Electric 2012 was supposed to be the year the all-electric version of the Toyota / Scion iQ made a splash. Instead, it appears that while it remains technically true that the iQ EV will launch this year, it will be a much, much smaller splash than previously anticipated. According to Reuters , the iQ will have an “extremely limited release.” That’s a kind way to say that the 100 iQ EVs that Reuters says Toyota will now sell in the U.S. and Japan is a much smaller figure than was anticipated. The writing has been on the wall for a while. All the way back in 2009, Toyota hinted that the EV, which can only go 50 miles on a charge, might be destined for car-sharing services , and in 2011, a Toyota spokesperson confirmed the iQ EV would be a ” low-volume vehicle .” Now, the official Toyota line (see below ) is that: Toyota has seen that many customers are not yet willing to compromise on range, and they don’t like the time needed to re-charge the batteries. Moreover, the infrastructure for recharging has not become as widespread as originally anticipated. So, even though Toyota is ready with the iQ EV, we believe a plug-in hybrid solution offers a better way than pure electric for most customer needs in the short- to medium-term, and that is where we will concentrate our commercial activities . Toyota vice chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada tells Reuters , “The current capabilities of electric vehicles do not meet society’s needs, whether it may be the distance the cars can run, or the costs, or how it takes a long time to charge.” Compare this attitude to the one displayed by Daimler , which today has hundreds of Smart Electric Drive vehicles functioning as car-sharing rides through its Car2go program in places like San Diego, CA and Austin, TX. Toyota will still move forward with the launch of the RAV4 EV, and expects to sell around 2,600 of them in the next three years .
Filed under: Hybrid , Technology , Hatchback , Mercedes-Benz , Smart , Toyota , Tesla , Electric Looks like another Tesla Motors investor will be looking to cash in on their connection. Autoweek reports Mercedes-Benz will offer their B-Class in the U.S. with Tesla propulsion. The magazine says their source at the German automaker confirms plans for a B-Class electric-only vehicle. While Tesla already provides battery packs for the battery-powered Smart ForTwo , the B-Class EV will reportedly have Tesla batteries, motor and other components. U.S. residents should be able to procure one sometime in 2014. The same Mercedes source says plans for a hybrid B-Class have been postponed for now. Adding a range-extending, gasoline-powered engine to an electric vehicle would put the car into a different class for which rebates and incentives aren’t as favorable in the States. Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler owns a 4.7-percent share of Tesla.
Filed under: Motorsports , Toyota , Electric , Racing The number of electric race cars entered into this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb continues to grow with Toyota Motorsports GmbH announcing today that its TMG EV P002 race car will compete at the 90th annual climb to the clouds. While this will be Toyota’s first trip to the Peak with the TMG EV P002, this won’t be the car’s first motorsports outing. Last year it set the lap record for an electric car at the N
Filed under: Car Buying , Crossover , Toyota , Electric Announced almost two years ago , Toyota finally gave us some more details about the was the all-electric RAV4 EV will be sold to the general public during the 26th Electric Vehicle Symposium in Los Angeles today. The important number? The MSRP for what Toyota calls a “fully equipped” RAV4 EV is $49,800 and will be available before the end of the year. Toyota says the RAV4 EV’s range is 100 miles and that the car will charge from empty in approximately six hours on a 240V/40A charger. The new RAV4 EV has LED and halogen headlights and it has special “environmental blue” color emblems on the outside. The vehicle will be made at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada, Inc., plant in Woodstock, Ontario. The first generation of the new RAV4 EV was unveiled back at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show . Our First Drive report is here . With a battery and powertrain designed by Tesla , the new RAV4 EV certainly appears to be one of the new breed of compliance EVs . We had heard that the RAV4 EV will be lease only, but the official press release says the car “will go on sale in late summer 2012 through select dealers, initially in four major California metropolitan markets.” Those markets are Sacramento, the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles/Orange County and San Diego and the news matches the rumor we heard last year, that sales about be limited to California.
Filed under: Aftermarket , Classics , Coupe , Performance , Japan , Technology , Toyota , Tokyo Auto Salon , Electric Saying the Toyota 2000GT holds a special place in our hearts is akin to calling oxygen and water kind of important to our survival. The long-nose two-door was envisioned as a suitable competitor to the likes of the European sports cars rolling out Italy and the UK at the time, and in many ways, the Toyota was far superior. Built at a time when Japan Inc. wasn’t exactly known for beautiful automobile designs, the 2000GT may have been influenced by European cars of its day, but it has stood the test of time as one of the country’s all-time design greats. The low-volume coupe is a piece of automotive legend, which is exactly why choosing to use a 2000GT as a platform for an electric conversion strikes us equal parts blasphemous and awesome. But that’s exactly what Japan’s Crazy Car Project has done. The engineers behind the exercise ditched the standard 2.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine in favor of a 161-horsepower electric motor. A 35kWh lithium-ion battery provides the system with power, and the hood has been covered with photovoltaic cells to help keep the car going. Likewise, the back glass is covered in a transparent solar panel. All told, the system can propel the vehicle to around 124 mph.
Filed under: Motorsports , Toyota , Electric , Racing Toyota ‘s TMG EV P001 – perhaps trying to outrun its boring name – smashed the existing lap record for an electric vehicle on the famed 12.93-mile N
Torrance, Calif., August 10, 2011 — Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (TMS) today announced that Leviton has been selected as an approved Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) provider for Toyota customers and dealers.