The new RAV4 EV will arrive in select California dealerships this summer. Toyota and Tesla announced 22 months ago that they would collaborate on an optimized electric vehicle that provides driving performance and cargo capacity that is equal to or exceeds the gas powered RAV4 V6. It appears as though they achieved their goal as Kelley Blue Book, among other reviewers, were nothing less than impressed.
The RAV4 EV has Tesla's battery and electric powertrain and Toyota's popular SUV design. This vehicle is expected to have an EPA-estimated driving range rating of 100 miles and charge in about 6 hours using a 240V/40A charger.
"Developing the RAV4 EV with Tesla gave us the opportunity to work with a leading-edge Silicon Valley company. Tesla brought their EV powertrain expertise and entrepreneurial spirit. We brought our customer - first focus and decades of production experience to the project. It wasn't always an easy process but I think we succeeded in blending our strengths and learning from one another," said Greg Bernas, chief engineer for Toyota Engineering and Manufacturing.
According to NextCars.net, there is only one vehicle that can even compete with the RAV4 EV, and it doesn't even exist yet. The 2014 Tesla Model X prototypes were unveiled in February.
Toyota expects to sell 2,600 vehicles through 2014 among affluent early adopters in California. If the vehicle catches on as expected, distribution will extend to other California-emissions states, such Massachusetts and New York. The 2012 RAV4 EV will go on the market at the $50k price point with up to $10k in state and federal tax incentives. To keep your electric vehicle in top shape, be sure to refer to the scheduled maintenance guide.