Toyota's electric car concept

* All the car launches from Detroit * New Mercedes E-Class and Jaguar XFR * Toyota Prius, too...

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Jim Holder
11 January 2009

This is Toyotas new FT-EV concept car, which hints at the technology that will be used when it puts an electric car into mass production in 2012.

The FT-EV is built on the Toyota iQs platform, and designed for use by people with daily journeys of up to 50 miles. That range is expected to be the goal for the production car.

The exterior and interior of the iQ also show some of the technology the FT-EV will use to maximise its range, including the aerodynamic front end and the range monitor inside the car.

Toyota is also expected to use the show to unveil the next generation Prius hybrid production car, announce imminent trials of a plug-in version of the next Prius and reveal a hybrid Lexus.

Sales goals and new launches
These launches underline Toyota's pledge to sell more than one million petrol-engined hybrid cars ina year before 2020.

To achieve this goal it has pledged to launch up to 10 new hybrid cars 'during the early 2010s'.

Plug-in Prius's
Toyota also announced in Detroit that it was bringing forward trials of plug-in Prius hybrids powered by lithium ion batteries.

The next generation Prius on sale this year will still use nickel-hydride batteries, which are larger and store less power than lithium ion units.

In total, 500 plug-in Prius' will go on trial around the world this year.