First Look: 2013 Scion iQ EV

By Brandon Turkus

October 18, 2012

There’s a good deal of fun to be had behind the wheel of Scion’s diminutive iQ city car. Its short wheelbase and generally tiny footprint make it the perfect modern vehicle for dicing through heavy traffic with ease. Still, with only 94 horsepower and 89 pound-feet of torque, it’s not exactly a speed demon. And with a combined EPA rating of only 37 miles per gallon, there are certainly larger and more efficient vehicles on sale.
Both of these issues may be addressed with the Scion iQ EV. The iQ EV joins Toyota’s RAV4 EV and Prius Plug-In Hybrid as the Japanese brand’s chargeable offerings. It only packs 63 horsepower, but torque is up to 120 pound-feet. Combine that with a 50 mile range and a three-hour charge time on a 240-volt plug, and it makes a fair bit of sense as a gas-free city car. It should hit 60 miles per hour in a leisurely 13.4 seconds, and will cover 30 to 50 miles per hour in nearly half that time. Top speed is 78 miles per hour.
Scion is planning on offering the iQ EV to car-sharing services. We think it makes a lot of sense in that role, as long as said services have the fast-charging infrastructure in order. A full list of car-share partners should be available in the coming weeks. There’s no mention of civilian sales for the iQ EV, although we’ll continue to hold out hope.
Please scroll down for the official press release from Scion.
Scion iQ EV Arrives for Campus and Urban Car-sharing Programs
DENVER, Oct. 17, 2012 – Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc. today announced the arrival of the 2013 Scion iQ EV in the United States. The iQ EV is a battery- electric four-seater city commuter car designed for car-sharing programs, in urban and campus environments.
“Toyota believes battery-electric vehicles have the potential to play a role in future mobility strategies,” says Chris Hostetter, TMS group vice president of strategic planning. “Up to now, cost and convenience issues have limited BEV’s appeal with a broad consumer market. Toyota developed the iQ EV specifically as a city commuter, for use in an urban environment, where driving distances are likely to be short, charging opportunities numerous, and its compact proportions beneficial.”
The iQ EV features Toyota’s newly developed high-output lithium-ion battery which delivers a world-class electric power consumption rate of 104 Wh/km in an ultra-compact and lightweight package. In ideal stop and go driving conditions, the 12 kWh battery provides an estimated range of up to 50 miles on a full charge. The vehicle can be fully charged in approximately three hours at 240V. Its 78-inch wheel base and 13.5 foot turning radius makes the iQ EV highly maneuverable in congested areas where streets are narrow and parking is at a premium.
“Approximately 90 iQ EVs will be available for fleet and car-sharing applications,” said Hostetter. “These programs will further expand Toyota’s comprehensive portfolio of advanced technology vehicles which includes the recently-released RAV4 EV, the Prius Family of gas-electric hybrid vehicles, including the Prius Plug-in Hybrid, and the FCHV-Adv (Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle-Advanced).”
Details on individual iQ EV program partners will be announced in the coming weeks.
Performance and Efficiency
The iQ EV development process strongly focused on the conservation of power consumption. A compact lightweight body, power-saving electrical equipment, and the application of experience gained from hybrid and plug-in hybrid development resulted in excellent all-around performance. The iQ EV is replete with energy conserving features such as regenerative braking, heat pump air conditioning with a pre-conditioning option, LED high-mounted stop light, heated front seats, and a heated windshield defroster. The iQ EV is equipped with a timer to match charge completion time with the time the vehicle will actually be driven, to help reduce battery degradation. In addition, there are three driving modes to select from: D range controls the vehicle to use the least amount of power during city driving; S range increases acceleration performance for brisker driving; and a B range that maximizes regenerative braking efficiency. Maximum output from the drivetrain is 47 kW (63 hp) with a maximum torque of 120 lbs.-ft. In S range the iQ EV accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 13.4 seconds, and from 30 to 50 mph in seven seconds. Its top speed is 78 mph.
The iQ EV’s styling is simple and bold. On the exterior, the front bumper’s simply constructed charging port lid emphasizes the EV’s iconic lack of an upper grille. Its trapezoidal motif highlights the appearance of a low center of gravity. A wide rear bumper conveys a strong stance. Two exterior colors are available: Silver and Super Red. For a sleek impression, the body is two-toned: the upper half and rear hatch are black, a theme that is carried through in the black front headlamp casings, black battery cooling air inlets, and wheel caps which are punctuated with a series of black vents.
The interior features a high-contrast black and white color scheme with metallic and ice-blue accents. The leather wrapped steering wheel and white steering pad cover convey a premium feel. The strongly contoured center console symbolizes the battery mounted below the floor; while the plug patterned seat fabric with blueish-grey and white stitching completes the iconic theme.
Audio Visual Navigation System
The iQ EV is equipped with an HDD navigation system and an exclusive AVN unit with several EV driving support features. The screen is a refined seven-inch Video Graphics Array LCD, which displays audio information or vehicle information (such as power consumption and energy flow information) in a split screen with the map on the main navigation screen. An available range map displays an estimate of the distance the iQ EV can travel on its current state of charge.
The iQ EV is equipped with 11 SRS (Supplemental Restraint System) airbags including knee, side, seat cushion, front and rear curtain, and a rear window curtain airbag. The front passenger seat is equipped with an occupant detection system. The iQ EV’s multiple load path body is designed to absorb and disperse frontal collision impacts through the body shell. The front tires have been moved forward so collision impacts are dispersed to the tires, helping to reduce impact to the cabin. Other impact dispersing features include front suspension members arranged in a cross hatch pattern and a larger dash cross member for offset impacts. A cross hatched constructed battery frame joined to the body frame helps enhance the rigidity of the cabin and helps disperse the energy of collisions from any angle.
Like all new Toyota vehicles, iQ EV comes standard with the Star Safety System™, which combines Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA) and Smart Stop Technology (SST). The iQ EV is also equipped with Hill start assist control and a vehicle proximity notification system to alert pedestrians of the vehicle’s approach.
iQ EV is manufactured at Toyota’s Takaoka Plant in Toyota City. Production began in September 2012.