Ever since Toyota announced a joint partnership with Tesla Motors, there has been a lot of talk about a new generation of electric Rav4’s. Well here it is, with a 100 mile range and a planned 2012 launch.
This is in fact the second generation of electric Toyota Rav4’s. The first generation, produced from 1998 to 2003, were sold and tested primarily in California. Toyota sold or leased almost 1,484 of these cars, and 746 of them are still on the road today. Toyota and Tesla will create a fleet of 35 of these “Phase Zero” electric Rav4’s for testing, and plans to roll these cars out to a select few states that have adopted California’s zero-emissions vehicle mandate, starting in 2012
Their goal is to create an electric Rav4 that can go 100 miles on a single charge without sacrificing passenger or cargo space. To that end, they have succeeded, and claim to have built an electric vehicle that operates much like its gasoline counterpart. Acceleration is similar to that of a V6 Rav4, and while it weighs 220 pounds more, handling is about the same as well. Toyota wasn’t specific on the size of the battery pack, saying only that it was in the mid 30’s kilowatt hours. This is the same type of lithium-ion battery pack used to power the Tesla Roadster.
To help distinguish the EV Rav4, it gets special badges and a unique front fascia, grille, and fog lamps. I kind of like the look, but what do you all think?
Source: Green Car Advisor
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to Hemis. You can follow his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout.