Toyota has officially unveiled the second-generation 2012 RAV4 EV at the Electric Vehicle Symposium in Los Angeles. Unlike the first RAV4 EV, the second-generation is noteworthy because it gets its powertrain from Tesla Motors. The RAV4 EV represents the first model to come from the recent partnership between Toyota and Tesla and will officially go on sale this summer with a starting price set at $49,800 before any available state or federal tax incentives.
The RAV4 EV is powered by a 154 horsepower electric motor that gives the all-electric SUV power that is comparable to the gasoline powered RAV4. Drivers can select between two drive modes, “Sport” and “Normal.” In Sport mode the RAV4 EV reaches 0-60 mph in 7.0 seconds and has a top speed of 100 mph. In Normal mode the RAV4 EV takes 8.6 seconds to reach 0-60 mph and tops out at 85 mph. Toyota claims that the RAV4 EV has a driving range of 100 miles and can be recharged in six hours using a 240-volt charger.
The good news is that RAV4 EV buyers will not have to give up any cargo or interior space, since the RAV4 EV’s interior is the same size as the conventional RAV4. On the outside the RAV4 EV looks almost identical to the other RAV4 models with the exception of the re-styled front bumper, upper and lower grill, side mirrors, rear spoiler, and under body that have all been redesigned to maximize air flow around the vehicle.
“We believe that the RAV4 EV will attract sophisticated early technology adopters, much like the first-generation Prius,” said Bob Carter, group vice president and general manager of the Toyota division. “It’s designed for consumers who prioritize the environment and appreciate performance. We look forward to seeing how the market responds.”
Toyota will officially release the RAV4 EV this summer, and it will initially be available in four major California metropolitan markets including Sacramento, the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles/Orange County, and San Diego. Sales volume is planned for approximately 2,600 units over the next three years.