RAV4 Electric to Be Shown in Los Angeles
The first materialization of the partnership is the electric version of the RAV4, a vehicle Toyota already confirmed it is being converted by Tesla. What not many expected was to see the vehicle make its first appearance so soon.
Toyota announced yesterday the world will experience the RAV4 electric two months from now, at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Of course, there aren't many technical details about the vehicle available, apart from the ones announced back in July.
By using a Tesla powertrain wrapped in a RAV4 body, the vehicle is expected to deliver a “range and acceleration exceeding that of other announced electric vehicles of this class," as Tesla's CEO, Elon Musk, said when the joint project was revealed.
Toyota and Tesla began working together in May, after the agreement reached for the revival of the former New United Motor Manufacturing (NUMMI) plant as an electric vehicle production hub. Toyota announced then it would invest $50 million in the joint venture, which will also include the development of an electric vehicle together with Tesla.
Toyota plans to introduce EVs into the market sometime in 2012. The Prius plug-in hybrid, the vehicle which Toyota kept repeating last year it will not be manufacturing, will hit dealerships in 2012 as well, with the target set at selling around 20,000 units a year.