Toyota RAV4 Electric Debuts in LA
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Compared to the regular version RAV4, the electric version received a mild facelift, which includes changes at the front bumper, grille, fog lamps and head lamps. At the interior, the electric RAV4 features custom seat trim, multimedia dash displays, push-button shifter and dashboard meters. According to Toyota, no cargo space has been launched with the fitting of the battery system (73-cubic-foot cargo area with rear seats folded down).
Using the battery technology developed and tweaked by Tesla for its models (lithium metal oxide, 30 kwh), the RAV4 is said to be capable of achieving a range of about 100 miles (160 km). This however will not happen until sometime in 2012, when
Until then, Toyota will be building 35 electric RAV4 vehicles and use them for demonstration and evaluation purposes. The testing program of the model will span throughout 2011, aiming at solving existing problems and tweaking the technology.
“When we decided to work together on the RAV4 EV, President Akio Toyoda wanted to adopt a new development model that incorporated Tesla’s streamlined, quick-action approach,” said Jim Lentz, president and chief operating officer at Toyota.
“The result was a hybrid – a new decision and approval process and a development style that our engineers refer to as “fast and flexible.”
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