Toyota to Launch Three 2012 Plug-in Cars

Scion iQ electric city car.

Not a company to rest on its battery powered laurels, Toyota is readying a comparative plethora of plug-in vehicles for 2012 in the form of the Prius PHEV, RAV4 EV and Scion iQ EV.

As many who follow advanced-tech automotive development are aware, Toyota will soon launch the plug-in version of its best-selling Prius, which is already making the rounds in the show circuit.

The Prius PHEV will offer only 12 miles all-electric range, so it won’t usurp the Chevy Volt in that category. However, the plug-in Prius’ price will be only a little more than a conventional Prius making it more of a mainstream offering.

Once the battery power runs out, the car reverts back to operating as a conventional hybrid, so like the Volt, there will be no fears of “range anxiety.”

Speaking of which, unless it is used correctly, Toyota’s full-electric Scion iQ could cause range anxiety as it will offer an estimated 50-65 miles travel before its lithium ion battery is discharged. By comparison, the Nissan LEAF gets somewhere between 80 to over 100 miles per charge. The Scion’s gasoline powered counterpart is also due later this year.

On the plus side, center of gravity for the Scion EV is said to be actually improved due to the under-floor battery pack. Another bonus is its batteries will not interfere with the Scion iQ’s 3+1 passenger layout.

RAV4 EV show vehicle.

A third Toyota utilizing battery power will be the RAV4 EV. This vehicle was co-developed with Tesla and was first shown at last year’s LA Auto Show.

Performance is reportedly decent, consisting of 100-mile range and acceleration equal to the gasoline-powered RAV4, despite a weight penalty of 220 pounds. Like the Scion iQ, the RAV4 EV does not let its batteries impede interior space and will retain its full 74 cubic feet of cargo room.

We do not have exact launch dates or pricing information on these vehicles as of yet.