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PHOTO CAPTION: Toyota FT-EV is based on iQ model popular in Japan.

Toyota Sees FT-EV Ideal for Carsharing, Green Communities

Mr. Reinert sees a promising opportunity, however, in newly minted communities that encourage residents to use non-polluting vehicles.

Published: 17-Jan-2009

Decorated with swooping birds and stars and flowers, Toyota’s electric vehicle normally might seem out of place at the Detroit auto show, where carmakers generally have put their most formidable iron on display.

But this is a show where green cars have taken center stage. And even though it did not star at a news conference, the Future Toyota Electric Vehicle — or FTEV for short — is drawing plenty of attention.

Toyota said here that it will begin to market the FTEV in 2012, marking a return of electric vehicles to its American lineup. Toyota initially leased, and then sold an electric version of its RAV-4, a small sport utility vehicle, between 1997 and 2003. But it was overshadowed by the Toyota Prius, a hybrid-electric car, and quietly disappeared after Toyota sold 328 of its electric RAVs.

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The company is working with a number of vehicle manufacturers on the development of batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles and expects more announcements like this one to come.

With seating up of four people who use all the large muscle groups, the car can easily cruise at speeds of up to 20 mph.

ZAP is hoping to keep the MSRP at $30,000 for the Alias three-wheeler pictured here.

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