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$20,000 electric car Toyota FT-EV

image The Toyota FT-EV could be on the road for around $20,000. Photo Gallery

Toyota has unveiled a budget priced electric car that can be driven up to 80km without using a drop of petrol...

Just don’t drive further than that otherwise you’ll need a long extension cord.

The car could be sold in Australia from as little as $20,000 within three years, although this is not yet confirmed.

The Japanese maker fired the first shot on the eve of the 2009 Detroit motor show, revealing its surprise future model in the hometown of North America’s three biggest car makers.

It is impossible to overestimate the importance of the Toyota FT-EV, writes PAUL GOVER from Detroit. The plug-in concept car is a seismic shift by the world's largest carmaker and the next step from its ambitious move into the hybrid world. Read more here...

Toyota’s announcement came as General Motors, Ford and Chrysler continue their fight for survival and calls for assistance from the US Government, and as the global economic crisis tightens its grip on the car industry.

The concept car is called the FT-EV and is based on a model called the iQ, which recently went on sale in Japan.

The tiny Toyota is bigger than a Smart city car but smaller than most other hatchbacks and can be fully recharged in a little more than seven hours.

It is due to go into production in Japan in 2012 and it could be on sale in Australia soon after.

“We are certainly looking at,” said Toyota Australia’s product planning manager Peter Evans. “It’s a fascinating vehicle. It is definitely one of our priorities for the Australian market. I think you will start to see a major shift towards these sorts of vehicles from 2012 and beyond.”

Toyota would not speculate on the retail price of its new electric car so far out from launch, but a similarly-sized petrol-powered hatchback costs about $15,000, and an electric motor and battery pack would likely add about $5000 to the cost of the car, say industry analysts, bringing the total close to $20,000.

Significantly, on battery power alone the tiny Toyota will travel almost 20km further than the Chevrolet Volt electric car to be made by General Motors.

However, the Toyota must be recharged after 80km, whereas the Volt has a petrol generator which extends total driving range up to 1000km.

The Toyota electric car is a tiny four-seater  hatchback whereas the Volt is about the size of a Holden Astra sedan.

Both cars are due in Australia about the same time – by the end of 2012 – if all goes to plan.

A spokesman for Toyota in North America said last year’s spike in the price of petrol was no accident, and worse is to come.

In a statement issued to media, Irv Miller, Toyota Motor Sales group vice president, environmental and public affairs, said: “[The spike in the price of oil] was a brief glimpse of our future. We must address the inevitability of peak oil by developing vehicles powered by alternatives to liquid-oil fuel, as well as new concepts, like the iQ, that are lighter in weight and smaller in size. This kind of vehicle, electrified or not, is where our industry must focus its creativity.”

The comments echo those made by the boss of General Motors, Rick Wagoner, at last year’s Detroit motor show. In his address to media he said: “There is no doubt demand for oil is outpacing supply at a rapid pace, and has been for some time now. As a business necessity and an obligation to society we need to develop alternative sources of propulsion.”

Mr Wagoner cited US Department of Energy figures which show the world is consuming roughly 1000 barrels of oil every second of the day, and yet demand for oil is likely to increase by 70 per cent over the next 20 years.

Last year, Toyota announced it planned to sell one million petrol-electric hybrids annually from 2010, starting with at least 10 new hybrid vehicles.

Toyota is also trialing a large number of plug-in hybrid vehicles with fleet customers later this year, deploying across North America 500 Prius cars adapted with plug-in technology and using lithium-ion batteries.

Battery technology has been one of the biggest hurdles for electric cars because they are sensitive to extreme temperatures, are heavy and bulky to accommodate and costly and time-consuming to produce.

The 2009 Detroit Motor Show



Comments on this story

Displaying 3 of 64 comments

  • IT is a centralized, profit-for-top pyramid. There are umpteen people hiding behind Boards, Corporations and such. If they developed a sense of human quality or gave away 50% of their accumulated $50 trillion money, this planet will have more peace, better living and better everything. They don't want to; ppower and money is their game. It's their real religion. Anything else is certified baloney.

    Sri Guru of Toorak-Vic Posted on 29 July 2013 1:15pm
  • The only thing stopping me from buying an electric car is the price tag and the awful body designs. At the present EVs look like low budget cars. If I have to pay 50K for a car it has to have style. Our home has 4.5kw solar PV system which should cover household AND any future EV recharges. We have waited a long time for this but finally we may be on the road to getting off petrol. We'll work on plastics and junk food next.

    Bonnie Barlow of Perth WA Posted on 10 December 2011 9:57am
  • The original EV model by GM which they only "leased" out could travel 300KM on a charge and required little or no maintenance. It's sale price was to be 40K. The average commuter travels about 50K a day by road if that. The cost of recharging was less than about a dollar back then. They scrapped the car telling the consumer they will mass produce hydro fuel cell cars. You can buy one I hear for about 100K. So Even if a electric car only travels 80KM you only need to put in to charge maybe twice a week. Most people who own one simply plug it in when they get home. The car companies just don't like the idea of efficiency. They work on the capital principle of "build it to break down"

    Frank Sheehan of Broken Hill Posted on 16 November 2011 1:23am
  • i believe jack green went bust 2009. 3kw solar is what average person would need to recharge car wouldn't consider that whopping would you? cmon guys keep up with the times

    philip jackson of australia Posted on 19 January 2010 12:42am
  • It is staggering that so many people have posted here STUPID comments about coal fired power plants. Good to see some more switched on people posting sensible information about the unused offpeak capacity of those same power plants though. I would like to point out to those ignorant knockers that have their heads buried somewhere that is is possible and cheap to run your entire household, which would include your new electric transport on totally green power. Just do a couple of google searches or visit your electricity suppliers web site OR just visit Jack Green sites for a great deal. For goodness sake, it ONLY costs an additional $4.40pw to do. Less than the cost of the unecessary junk food you probably stuffed your face with today. You know the one that has made OZ the Fattest people in the world (Excuse the digression).

    Beez of Brisbane Posted on 16 February 2009 7:03pm
  • It is staggering that so many people have posted here STUPID comments about coal fired power plants. Good to see some more switched on people posting sensible information about the unused offpeak capacity of those same power plants though. I would like to point out to those ignorant knockers that have their heads buried somewhere that is is possible and cheap to run your entire household, which would include your new electric transport on totally green power. Just do a couple of google searches or visit your electricity suppliers web site OR just visit Jack Green sites for a great deal. For goodness sake, it ONLY costs an additional $4.40pw to do. Less than the cost of the unecessary junk food you probably stuffed your face with today. You know the one that has made OZ the Fattest people in the world (Excuse the digression).

    Beez of Brisbane Posted on 15 February 2009 10:18pm
  • Point 1. The reason that off-peak power is so cheap, is that during off-peak times we generate more power than we use. This is because you cannot just switch off a power station when the load drops and switch it on as load ramps up. So, charge your plug-in overnight and you may well just be soaking up surplus power. Sounds like a win/win Charge it during the day however would be a disaster (unless you've got a whopping solar array on your house to charge it from). Point 2. Petrol cars waste fuel/energy idling while you are sitting in traffic. Electric cars waste very little while at rest. Electric are also more efficient in stop/start traffic as they can reclaim braking energy.

    Duane of Sydney Posted on 29 January 2009 6:06pm
  • why are people so negative? a car that will release you from the ball and chain of the petrol companies has got to be a good thing

    Gavin Taylor Posted on 21 January 2009 4:00pm
  • I fail to understand why they make these cars look SO GAY AND STUPID!!!!

    alex of taringa Posted on 15 January 2009 7:18pm
  • Rob S you seem to be missing the point. 90% of australia's population live in the city (number pulled out of my butt, but you get the gist), if those daily commuters didn't use petrol, there'd be more for the people in the country (and more importantly all those trucks that transport the food around). Those few of us who need to travel more than 80km a day (I rarely do more than 50 unless I go 4wd'ing) will reap the benefits of not paying for petrol, even (dare I say it) generating their own electricity for next to nothing. Free transport! Better still, a diesel-electric hybrid is more efficient even than the regular diesel powered 4WD, with greater low-end torque (as electric motors have maximum torque at zero rpm). And while driving around town needn't use a single drop of diesel if not required. If it can work for trains, why not cars? Battery capacity is the only thing holding it back, and that limit is starting to fall away with lithium batteries.

    Ben Rypstra of Perth, WA Posted on 15 January 2009 5:00am
  • Sounds interesting, but why do designers of electric cars think they have to make them ugly and so different from conventional cars? Ugliness seems to be a trademark of almost every electric vehicle made, except for the Honda Civic (based on a standard design) and the Prius. Electric cars would have more market appeal if they had more conventional and stylish appearances.

    Geoff Kelly of Adelaide Posted on 14 January 2009 10:06pm
  • It's not the purchase cost that counts but the maintenance costs too, just look at the comparison of all costs between a 3.8 V6 Mitsubishi 380 & Toyota's toxic Prius(toxic if you take into account disposal of old batteries & new batteries) the difference is just 32 cents a week. This little toy would be as useless as tits on a bull outside of the city. You know in the country where all the food comes from.

    Robert Smissen of Murray Bridge South Australia Posted on 14 January 2009 4:53pm
  • Over- or under-estimate? You don't appear to know the difference between black and white. If this car truly represents a seismic shift for the auto industry, and is not something inconsequential, then you probably meant to say "it is impossible to OVERestimate the importance of the Toyota FT-EV", not UNDERestimate.

    Stewart Midwinter of Calgary, Canada Posted on 13 January 2009 11:30am
  • This is very exiting for the average city commuter, who will be able use off-peak power and then eventually back that up with solar panels that charge your spare battery during the day - imagine that! What if the same spare battery could also be used to run the household if required. You may even have multiple batteries charging just as a standard battery drill does, but with free energy from the sun. All the while your busy using up you designated 80k to get around town, guilt free as your house puts any excess power back into the energy grid. For those that live in regional areas, the impact of 10% and then 20% of car uses being electric vehicle uses, say, over the next 10 to 20 years in the major cities may even steady and eventually reduce the demand for oil, thereby keep prices steady or even heading down. I would think that by then batteries would have improved enough for those country sceptics to enjoy too. Imagine that!

    Dylan O'Brien of South Australia Posted on 13 January 2009 1:33am
  • @Kato: To clarify a few points . . First of all, carbon-burning power plants are enormously more efficient than car engines, so electric vehicles still reduce carbon emissions. Secondly, hydrogen must be generated by using electricity to separate it out of water, and this process is quite inefficient meaning that a lot of extra electricity is wasted in converting the energy to hydrogen. Battery toxicity may indeed be bad but I think it is probably the lesser evil.

    Brian Plimley of California Posted on 12 January 2009 8:32pm
  • Without knowing the exact kilowatts of electricity needed to charge the battery for the 80km trip, it is hard to know how much it really costs to run. At this stage, 80km worth of petrol may be cheaper, or is it ? How about an article with some useful numbers in it ?

    Richard Posted on 12 January 2009 2:01pm
  • What is not clear is weather the Author is Australian and reporting from outside of Australia, or if this article is a bastardization of another news article elsewhere. This is an Australian web site, and referenced the Holden Astra, which is an Australian Car. The article also references car makers in the US, and international car companies. Yet, It is not clearly stated as to weather the dollar figures are in Australian currency, or US currency. Please, next time you write an article, and refer to car models and manufacturers from Down under and other countries, please state who's currency you are referring to. Australian dollars, US dollars, New Zealand dollars, Canadian dollars, or WHAT. (ok, its not likely to be NZ, or Canadian currency, but i hope you get the point)... I would like to point out to one of the very early posters who was against electric cars, because there is still pollution from generating electricity. Perhaps you can do your homework and provide references for data. I do not have the data, but i do know that an Internal Combustion Engine, is very inefficient.

    john patek Posted on 12 January 2009 1:22pm
  • How are these going to save the environment? Sure they don't emit anything but they suck up electicity like nobody's business. Remember people we get our power from coal, gas, petrol power plants. This just means that more smog will come out of them instead of your car and who's to say the price of electricity wont jump because of this? Also the batteries use some really dangerous chemicals in their production and a lot of that is worse to dispose of than just about anything else. So keep your electric car and wake me up when we're pumping hydogen at the bowser.

    Kato of Canberra Posted on 12 January 2009 11:24am
  • Well, it makes sense that the hybrids would cost "more", theyre still an evolving technology, new, not yet tailored for full efficiency etc. As there are more and more rolled off the showroom, and battery technology gets better, then prices will drop. The smart car isnt cheap, but not many people buy them and theyre not cheap to make. If there arebnt going to be MANY, itll cost more. But I do long for when they can make the battery 'charge' itself while the engine is running, extending time between charges. 7 hours to charge? But, its a hybrid, not an actual full electric. After 80km, goes to petrol. Still, would be nice to travel the 300k to my families place without using any petrol. Go the electric. (Also, how much more efficient will they be, if they have to be charged for so long all the time?) Who killed the electric car.

    Tea Leana of hobart Posted on 12 January 2009 11:14am
  • S W E E T. Looks like Goss132 ( who used to have the most affordable EV ), now has someone to compete with!! Boo Ya. Can't wait for the EV wars to begin. As far as cost... I say... Toyota #1 Goss132 #2 Watch Goss make a press release saying their EV's are now at a similar price. Either way... I want to dump this gass guzzler I'm stuck with now.

    Coolness Posted on 12 January 2009 8:08am
  • $20,000 for that!. Talk about being ripped off. You could buy 3 used hybrid car's for that. Plus 80km isn't even enough to get me to work.

    Adiran of Bendigo Posted on 12 January 2009 8:03am
  • Hi, I think the car for $20K is not a price that surprises people who are aiming to own a car. I think the one being released by TATA(Indian Company) for only $2K, which is almost 10% of the Toyota FT-EV. But the only thing i can see in a positive is being electric car.

    balaji Posted on 12 January 2009 2:51am
  • How do you charge it? Is it just a matter of plugging it in to your normal house socket? Sensitive to extreme temperatures doesn't sound good for up here in QLD.

    Blonde of Brisbane Posted on 11 January 2009 10:54pm
  • Wow, we do get good news some time!!!!. I long for the day when I don't have to rock up at a petrol station anymore. I'm sick of spending days pulling splinters out of my backside everytime I go to a petrol station nowadays, because it feels like being whacked with a rough sewn 4x2 every time I go near the place.

    Bob Roberts Posted on 11 January 2009 9:13pm
  • Why should the electric version cost so much more? Surely the electric motor and batteries are replacing the (expensive) petrol motor and fuel system etc. Electric motors are far simpler than internal combustion so should be a lot cheaper, especially if produced in any quantity! Same would apply to batteries...the cost of production should come way down as volume goes up...all recent technological advances have shown that.

    Mike Hawley of Adelaide Posted on 11 January 2009 6:23pm
  • It's time for the Australian Government to act in terms of these potential environmental disasters. A plug in electric car is far worse for emmissions than a traditional petrol car. How you ask? Well consider that 90% or more of electrical power in Australia comes from burning coal and you might start to get the idea. If we had a poution free mains power source, it would be a good idea. We don't! So I vote that the Australian Government ban these types of plug in electric cars for road registration before we have the likes of Toyota trying to dupe us with false claims in advertising about zero emmissions etc.

    Bryce of Melbourne Posted on 11 January 2009 5:48pm
  • I can't wait for electric cars. After watching the movie, "Who killed the electric car?" I am patiently waiting to replace my petrol-powered car for a vehicle which does not require servicing and decreases my dependence on foreign-oil. The all-electric technology has existed for some time now and the technology will only improve... Just think, no more queuing at gas stations waiting for my 4-cent per litre discount. It is about time that the technology can be purchased at price-parity to petrol-powered cars.

    Dan Stiller Posted on 11 January 2009 5:47pm
  • One wonders how much electricity (carbon) is used in charging the car overnight..Charging overnight won't be from solar power! There needs to be an total carbon saving in the mix!. You may think you are help the environment in major way and you maybe, but not as much as you may have hoped.

    John of Melbourne Posted on 11 January 2009 3:15pm
  • When are these dodgy people going to get the real deal out of wrappers? Nikola Tesla discovered a way for free electric energy without wires, getting unlimited from the magnetosphere because we live i an electric universe! But hey, the experts will keep you on a chain and meter forever. How on Earth can they gain benefit for themselves without ripping us all off? They might have to do some honest work. Imagine the Queen and her ilke serving a meal or on a checkout? The petrodollars and the populace as slaves is their go. Now you can have a car that goes 80kms! Does it come with an extension lead? So now petrodollars will be replaced with electrodollars. The thieving mongrels are still screwing us. Tell them to stick their useless can up their Kyber Passes. Spivs the lot of them.

    Mark S Filby of Coffs Harbour Posted on 11 January 2009 2:55pm
  • 80km isnt far enough in my opinion. Double that, and then we will be getting somewhere.

    Grant of Gold Coast Posted on 11 January 2009 2:43pm
  • Just curious as to how much pollution from coal burning is created to produce the electricity from charging the car to run 80km? I'm asking seriously, if anyone can compare this to a typical small cars petrol. And also what would be the cost of charging with electricity compare to in fuel per litre cost?

    Piko of Sydney Posted on 11 January 2009 2:38pm
  • With the world on the cusp of new technology to power less or NON OIL cars who would want to buy the current crop of obsolete vehicles. Lets hope the Government can keep out of our pockets when Battery Power takes hold. The motorist has been held to ransom for too long.

    cs of coffs Posted on 11 January 2009 2:38pm
  • Looks fine to me, where do I sign up?

    Jon of Perth Posted on 11 January 2009 2:29pm
  • Now THIS is what I've been waiting for. Hybrid cars or more efficient petrol cars are a waste of time. Australia should go straight into making all-electric cars. Half the people in Australia live around densely packed capital cities where they only do 10ks of driving per day. Imagine how great it would be to live in a Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne with clean air. Cases of lung diseases and asthma would drop and noise pollution would no longer be a problem. Go Toyota!

    Joe of Brisbane Posted on 11 January 2009 2:17pm
  • yeah good idea, the whole thing, but all this about limitations and battery weight, this should be all about freedom. I mean you can phone from your mobile to just about anywhere on earth when ever you like, how come we cant order an energy packet via bpay and have it forwarded by bigpond "where is".

    peter of sth sydney Posted on 11 January 2009 1:52pm
  • About time....

    Cranky of Adelaide Posted on 11 January 2009 1:49pm
  • Excellent move from Toyota and with a range of 80 k's that will suit me most of the time. I just wonder however if all the money spent on wars was spent on battery design in just one year I think we would have the problem licked. We must change our greedy priorities and right now on many fronts. This car is a good start.

    Kent Bayley of Gold Coast Posted on 11 January 2009 1:48pm
  • If this car goes 80km on one charge, is that 80km in a straight drive? What about stopping & starting at traffic lights, & going up & down carparks looking for spaces? These are areas that use more force than just driving in a straight line to see how far it goes before it stops moving. This is a step in the right direction, but at the moment, it won't be particularly useful to a lot of people in Australia. For me to drive into the city, it's a 60km round trip, not including the traffic lights, slowing for traffic, ramps in carparks etc. I wouldn't be able to go any further on the chance that I wouldn't get back home again. Keep trying, this says there are ideas out there and people willing to try to make them happen, but at the moment, it's not particularly useful to people like me. Get rid of the big oil cartels & start getting peoples ideas being worked on.

    Judi of Adelaide Posted on 11 January 2009 12:57pm
  • Can I ask one question? Why is it that in every article about an electric vehicle nobody mentions the minor detail that it has to be charged? Nobody looks at the cost vs. benefits analysis? When you charge the car you are still burning dinosaur based fuel. The difference is it was burned at the power generating plant. Electricity is a "fuel" also. The only time an electric vehicle will truly be benificial is when it is charged by a solar panel on the roof when possible. That will be free.

    Paul Mullen Posted on 11 January 2009 12:53pm
  • 80km?? what a joke. An electric car should at least go 300km per day without charge, and re-charge in under 5 minutes , otherwise its useless

    George Posted on 11 January 2009 12:51pm
  • These electric vehices simply add demand to the base load requirements of traditional electricity supplies, and they would only suit greater metropolitan users typically very small families or individuals. There is already argument that alternative power cannot meet baseload requirements unless we get nuclear powered energy. Solar and hydrogen are the alternatives Australia should be funding research for, in conjunction with car manufacturers - not simply handing them billions so they can pay off debts and produce tradtional models.

    NM of Adelaide Posted on 11 January 2009 12:41pm
  • I'll believe it when I see it. Our Government keeps going on about Global Warming, carbon taxes, carbon trading. Electric cars have been around for years (and also a recent development - the compressed air car) none of which seem to make the market. The reason I believe is that oil companies will lose millions and they do have the financial means to stop these fuel-efficient vehicles becoming the norm. If a large proportion of our commuter vehicles were electric (or compressed air or hydrogen fuel cell), up to 40% of our carbon and other cancer causing pollutants would disappear. It is hard not to be a global warming skeptic when solutions are there and abundantly available but these options are ignored. The alternate belief is that our economy is dependant on the oil industry and so we will simply smoke ourselves to oblivion. One final comment. It is clear our business leaders and parliamentarians are lacking in integrity and leadership as they know the solutions but never seem to go down that path or explain why we do not. Does it have anything to do with cash injection by oil companies into political party election funds to get the ‘right’ political decision?

    K J Beinke of ADELAIDE Posted on 11 January 2009 12:37pm
  • Awsome, we'll just have to build a few more coal plants to recharge them...

    guest Posted on 11 January 2009 12:32pm
  • The sooner the better. I do hope they can improve on battery technology so the EV's can travel further, faster and fully charge in less time.

    keith koppman Posted on 11 January 2009 12:19pm
  • So, we - well, industry and Government - have about 30 months to put the infrastructure in place to allow consumers to effectively 'fill up' at a reasonable price and a convenient location. Otherwise, take-up is going to be VERY slow. The future competitive advantage in parking stations in major cities will not be size of cost, but the ability to charge your car while parked - when will Wilsons commence installing that capability? I suspect it will take two years AFTER the car is available before a decision is even reached on who is responible! If the PM is serious about carbon reduction, the federal government will mandate support to electric cars in future developments, and will lead the way by electrifying Capital Hill and be the first buyers on Toyotas doorstep.

    Matthew Kitchin of Albury, NSW Posted on 11 January 2009 12:01pm
  • Sounds like a good idea (if you live in the inner city where you are unlikely to do more than 80km in a days outing) What I would like to know, is how much CO2 is produced by the coal fired power station that produces the electricity this car runs on? The Car is "Zero Emission", but you need to get the electricity from somewhere and unless your power station is solar, geothermal, wind turbine or hydroelectric then you are still creating CO2 every time you drive this car. They sound great, but what is the true environmental cost? Its not Zero.

    Craig of Perth Posted on 11 January 2009 11:49am
  • I've been waiting for an electric car to be my next car for some time. Whoever brings out an electric car around 25k that can take me 150km I'll be the first to buy one

    Patrick of Melbourne Posted on 11 January 2009 11:40am
  • Toyota like others just do not get it, hybrid - rubbish, hydrogen - rubbish, electric car that only does 80km - rubbish..... Stuff me, Tesla has had a car that does 300km+ per charge, recharges in less 1/4 of the time for this pile of junk and is a super car... What is wrong with these people ? People NEED to have decent distance to travel and NOT 8 hours to charge - IS IT SO HARD ? Not if you look at what this Tesla mob has been doing for years now....

    ScottW of Perth Posted on 11 January 2009 11:32am
  • Not to beat a dead horse further - but while they may not run on petrol, where does the power come to recharge them? Oh dead, they are just more load on the fossil fuel power plants that power the grid. The processes that go into making the batteries for these things are disgusting for the environment - but don't stress, the nastiest of the work is done out of sight and out of mind in The Peoples Republic of China... and said batteries aren't cheap to replace! Hydrogen my friends, is the most common element known to man, and if we can develope more efficient ways of extracting it from water and make it available to the masses (there are hydrogen filling stations in the USA already) you can either use it to generate electricity for an electric car by way of fuel cell OR for the more fun loving among us, use it to power an internal combustion engine! There are petrol/hydrogen hybrid Mazda RX-8's for example. Oh and in case you didn't know the only waste product from using/burning hydrogen is pure water/steam.

    Ryan of Perth Posted on 11 January 2009 11:27am
  • These types of cars truly confuse me? Are they really that environmentally effective? Sure, okay they don't run on petrol and pump out emissions into the atmosphere... but if it takes 7 hours of charging via the power grid to run, well how much difference is really being made? Because unless you are running your power grid by nuclear power (which has it's own set of problems) you will still be causing pollutants to be issued via the stacks of the power generation stations? Plus these things usually have a much shorter battery life, so you will be changing that more often putting another item out there that is hard to dispose of carefully. How much more effective are they really?

    Louise of Perth Posted on 11 January 2009 11:26am
  • this could be the solution for all the wars going on in the middle east no more oil wars and innocent deaths.

    ram of ram Posted on 11 January 2009 11:22am
  • Until manufacturers bring the prices down to within 10% of the price of a comparable petrol driven car, take off will be slow - it will take 2 or 3 or more years to recover the difference between the price you would have paid in petrol and the cost of electricity, particularly if you have to borrow an extra $5 - $10k to fund the intial purchase. From a practical perspective, where do you plug your car in if you live in an apartment building where the car park doesn't have a power outlet for each car space. Or, where do you plug your car in if you only have street parking. I noticed that on Hamilton Island they have installed power points on the outside of the low rise older apartment buildings to encourage people to change over to electric buggies when they replace their old ones. Apartment and office building owners would have to provide convenient access to power for each car space. Car companies could subsidise this in exchange for advertising in the buildings. They could also provide low or no interest loans for the extra $5k - $10k purchase price if they can't bring the cost down.

    Tango of Queensland Posted on 11 January 2009 11:10am
  • Wow 80km's on a charge. Still wouldn't get you from one side of Adelaie to the other.

    Shane Bennett Posted on 11 January 2009 11:05am
  • "revealing its surprise future model in the hometown of North America’s three biggest car makers" That is certainly a slap in the face!! But, the big arrogant 3 certainly need it. It's obvious to anybody with a brain that electrics and hybrids are the future.

    Phil B of US Posted on 11 January 2009 10:52am
  • Electric cars are worse for the environment than petrol-powered cars. That is because the fuel needed to generate the electricity to charge the batteries is much more than that required to run a car directly. But you can never under-estimate the stupidity of the public.

    Jay Posted on 11 January 2009 10:42am
  • oh yay. for just 20K i can get a tiny car i cant fit my family and shopping in that MIGHT get me to the next town if i drive at walking pace. i guess i wont need to do the 600km round trip to visit the chain stores to do big ticket shopping anymore? australia is a big country - we do big km, often with a car full of stuff. we need decent sized cars not impractical matchboxes.

    john doe Posted on 11 January 2009 10:33am
  • All we need now is nuclear power to handle the increased power load during the night when all our electric cars are plugged in and recharging. Not too green when you consider the extra coal that would need to be nurned to make the electricity for the recharge. Might also be time to invest in a tow truck business or an emergency power recharge/battery swap call out service.

    Allan of Gold Coast Posted on 11 January 2009 10:31am
  • A 7 hour charge gets you 80kms??? Woohooo what's the point ? ??

    The Big Fella of Telarah Posted on 11 January 2009 10:30am
  • 20 grand and 80k's. Why don't we just allow golf carts on the road!

    Sunshine Coaster Posted on 11 January 2009 10:26am
  • Thats my car!!! Does it come with some small whine to alert people that you are near them.

    Joan Mohr Posted on 11 January 2009 10:26am
  • I cannot see the sense in electic cars when electricity is expensive and rising and not yet a very green alternative. I would rather see nuclear powered engines that would last the lifetime of a car without recharging. Without screaming that we can't dispose of nuclear waste (yet) the upside is that it takes up very little room on the planet. we cannot dispose of the waste caused by the creation of electicity either. It will be joy to the ears of carbon credit resellers though as they don't want real alternatives either.

    ollie of sydney Posted on 11 January 2009 9:44am
  • To be more economical we need smaller lighter cars but we keep putting the little cars on the same roads as trucks that get bigger all the time. In an accident these mini cars offer no protection for occupants expecially if a truck is involved. I will stay in a full size vehicle with a chassis bugger the cost of fuel my life is worth more.

    John of Colac Posted on 11 January 2009 9:41am
  • The only way to go if we want to avoid being ransom by Crude Oil. Alternative energy.

    Tedi of Brisbane Posted on 11 January 2009 9:37am
  • Send me one , I will give it a try for 12 months.

    Greg of Adelaide Posted on 11 January 2009 9:32am
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