The Scion iQ EV exists after all, and is going to be used in a car sharing program in Pleasanton CA. A few days ago I’d asked whether Toyota is going to be canceling its electric vehicle programs, thanks to a press release playing up their hybrid cars, portraying fuel cells and lithium-air batteries as the future, and not mentioning much of anything about plug-in vehicles. The Plug-in Prius barely got mentioned, and the Gen2 RAV4 EV not at all.
It had been so long since I’d heard about the Scion iQ EV that I’d completely forgotten about it, which just demonstrates the doubt we should have about Toyota’s seriousness about plug-in vehicles. Yesterday, Toyota and City Car Share inked a deal to deploy 30 Scion iQ EV’s in a car sharing program which sounds “great! they’re reawakening the iQ EV” until you notice that the press release says that only 100 of these cars exist anywhere. Meaning, the iQ EV is a car that Toyota developed, and then canceled.
The car is ultra-small and has a paltry 40 mile range thanks to a ridiculously small 12 kilowatt-hour battery pack. With figures like that one understands why Toyota may have completely canceled plans to build the thing. But it should work well as a car sharing car.
CITY CARSHARE AND TOYOTA ANNOUNCE NEW CARSHARING FLEET DASH AT BAY AREA SUBURBAN BUSINESS CENTER
Dash™ brings battery-powered carsharing to Pleasanton’s Hacienda, providing commuters with short-distance transportation options
Pleasanton, CA (Sept. 11, 2013)
– City CarShare
, the largest nonprofit carsharing organization in North America, in partnership withToyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc.
, today launched a new carsharing program, Dash,
at Hacienda in Pleasanton. Dash™
, a three-year pilot program, will offer short distance transportation options for both employer’s business needs and for their carpool, vanpool and public transportation commuters once they arrive to the park for work. The unique fleet is made up of Scion iQ EV electric vehicles, which are designed specifically for the carsharing market. As part of the pilot program, Toyota is providing thirty iQ EVs to City CarShare’s Dash
fleet (there are only 100 of these models in the world.) These vehicles will be located in various electric vehicle charging stations throughout and near Hacienda
City CarShare’s Dash™ will provide battery powered transportation options to the nearly 20 percent of the Park’s employees that use alternative transportation methods to get to work. The cars will allow employees to attend local meetings and run errands. Dash’s launch at Hacienda will also encourage single-car commuters to use public transit and / or join a carpool / vanpool and become carsharing members. Employees who join City CarShare will be able to use the electric vehicles by the hour for a low cost.
“City CarShare is pleased to introduce Pleasanton’s first electric carsharing vehicles at Hacienda, through our Dash fleet,” said Rick Hutchinson, CEO of City CarShare. “By providing a carsharing option for commuters, we are working towards our goal to take 20,000 cars off of Bay Area roads by 2020, while promoting and encouraging transit, walking, carpooling and cycling.”
The Scion iQ EVs feature a high-output lithium-ion battery system that delivers an electric power consumption rate of 104 Wh/km in an ultra-compact package. In ideal stop-and-go driving conditions, the 12-kWh battery provides a range of about 40 miles and can be fully charged in about three hours. The battery electric four-seater vehicles do not consume gasoline or produce tailpipe emissions.
“Toyota is exploring new business models like the City Car Share Dash fleet to meet the future mobility needs of our customers,” said Craig Scott, advanced technology vehicle manager for Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. “The Scion iQ EV fleet will help us understand how electric vehicles are used in an active car sharing program and the viability of this type of program for future technologies.”
The Dash™ fleet will offer multiple benefits, such as reducing road congestion by encouraging carpooling and replacing short trips made by gasoline vehicles during the workday – trips that produce the most harmful “start-up” emissions. City CarShare members have saved a total of 487 million pounds of CO2 since the organization launched in 2001. Additionally, each Dash vehicle will contribute to City CarShare’s goal of reducing congestion and carbon emissions throughout the Bay Area.
“Hacienda’s Dash program provides a win-win combination of car sharing and zero-emission vehicles as a model for cleaner transportation options in the Bay Area,” said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. “The Air District fully supports innovative projects like these, which offer advanced technology solutions to help reduce the overall impact of traffic on regional air quality.”
“Pleasanton and Hacienda are extremely excited about the launch of this program which will offer more convenience to the thousands of commuters into our city each day,” said Pleasanton Mayor Jerry Thorne. “The opportunity for exposure to the new Scion iQ EV should bolster program appeal and dovetail with the City’s goals.”
Dr. Susan Shaheen of the University of California at Berkeley’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center
has received generous support from Toyota Motor North America to conduct research on the Dash
program in the Pleasanton area. The study will focus on user response to the program and calculate the social and environmental impacts. The before-and-after study will span a two-year period and be available to the public about six months after that via the TSRC website: www.tsrc.berkeley.edu
About City CarShare
City CarShare, a Bay Area nonprofit, provides convenient, affordable access to shared cars in order to reduce individual car ownership and usage. By providing innovative and technologically advanced mobility options to members, we help to improve the environment and quality of life in our cities through the reduction of traffic, parking problems, and dependence on oil–while promoting cleaner air, quieter streets and more open space. For more information, visit www.citycarshare.org
. Follow City CarShare on Facebook
Toyota Motor Sales, Inc. (TMS), based in Torrance, CA, is the U.S. sales, marketing, distribution and customer service arm of Toyota and Scion.
Toyota, the world’s top automaker and creator of the Prius, is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through our Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands. Over the past 50 years, we’ve built more than 25 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ nearly 40,000 people (more than 37,000 in the U.S.). Our 1,800 North American dealerships sold more than 2.3 million cars and trucks in 2012 – and about 80 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 20 years are still on the road today. (NYSE:TM) For more information about Toyota, visitwww.toyotanewsroom.com
About David HerronDavid Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.
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About David Herron
David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.