Toyota and Tesla reveal RAV4 EV SUV concept at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show

Toyota RAV4 EV concept

The Toyota RAV4 EV concept, the first electric vehicle jointly developed with Tesla, has made its debut at the 2010 LA Auto Show – and as these images show, it is not just a static display model.

A total of 35 vehicles will be built for a demonstration and evaluation programme through 2011, with the introduction of a final production model in the US in 2012.

The final production vehicle will have a target range of 100 miles in actual road driving patterns, in a wide range of climates and conditions. As we revealed here, the RAV4 EV concept is based on the current Toyota RAV4 and is fitted with a Tesla electric powertrain.

“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, Toyota Motor Sales USA.

Toyota RAV4 EV concept

Tesla was responsible for building and supplying the battery, as well as other related parts, that met specific Toyota engineering specifications in performance, quality and durability. Toyota was responsible for development and manufacturing leadership and the seamless integration of the powertrain.

“From the beginning, the customer experience has been the focus,” said Lentz. “The end goal is a vehicle with driveability characteristics as close to the conventional RAV4 as possible.”

As you can see, the RAV4 EV revealed at the show has received several distinct exterior styling changes compared to the RAV4 currently on sale in the UK. These include a new front bumper, grille, fog lamps and headlights, unique EV badging and a custom “mutually exclusive” paint colour.

The interior benefits from a custom seat trim, multimedia dash displays, push-button gear selector and dashboard meters. Crucially, no luggage space has been lost in the RAV4’s conversion to an electric powertrain.

To find out more about Toyota’s RAV4 EV programme, visit www.toyotarav4ev.com.

Click here to view our RAV4 EV photo library.

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