Electric RAV4 makes its debut at the LA Auto Show
An electric RAV4 developed jointly between Toyota and Tesla has made its debut at the LA show.
The concept is based on a standard Toyota RAV4, but gets an electric powertrain courtesy of specialist manufacturer, Tesla.
Toyota is planning to launch a production of the RAV4 EV in 2012 after a 35 development vehicles have been put through their paces next year.
The company says they intend to offer customers an electric car which closely matches the driving characteristics of the conventional RAV4.
Toyota specifically retuned the car's major components to cope with the 100kg that Tesla's batteries and associated tech adds to the RAV4's kerbweight. Despite the increased bulk, the manufacturer claims it reaches 60mph almost as fast as the V6 model.
The final configuration of a production version of the RAV4 EV is yet to be decided, but the car is expected to be capable of a 100 mile range under normal driving conditions.
Toyota treated the concept as a facelift of the current model so along with the alternative powertrain the new model gets a different front bumper, grille, fog lamps and head lamps. There's also a custom interior. Interestingly, despite absorbing Tesla's notoriously bulky batteries, the RAV4 EV hasn't sacrificed any load capacity.