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by Adam Lynton
Select dealers in California will take ownership of the world’s first all-electric SUV in late summer, which comes with a $49,800 price tag.
It was only two years ago when Toyota and Tesla announced development of the RAV4 EV, so in revealing the production-ready model at the 26th annual Electric Vehicle Symposium in LA yesterday, the joint venture has delivered a product to the market in record time. Last year it was reported Toyota had pulled the plug on the battery-powered RAV4 EV for the general public, limiting the car to fleet sales only. Bob Carter, group VP and GM of the Toyota division, is now saying plans have changed.
The car, he says "will attract sophisticated early technology adopters, much like the first-generation Prius. It's designed for consumers who prioritize the environment and appreciate performance. We look forward to seeing how the market responds." Priced at $49,800, the RAV4 EV will be the only all-electric SUV on the market. The battery and electric powertrain was designed and produced by Tesla, which sits in one of Toyota's most popular SUVs. It boasts a driving range of around 100 miles and a six hour charging time of six hours on a 240V charger.
The FWD RAV4 EV allows drivers to choose between Sport and Normal mode. In Sport mode, 0-60mph can be done in 7.0 seconds with a 100mph top speed, while in Normal mode the sprint time is 8.6 seconds and top speed is 85mph. The EV can be distinguished from the gasoline powered RAV4 by its restyled front bumper, upper & lower grille, side mirrors, rear spoiler and under body design. It also features LED low beam projector headlights with halogen projector high beams, while daytime running lights are made up of five vertical LEDs.
New exterior emblems sporting the signature 'environmental blue' further distinguish the EV from its gas-powered sibling. Blizzard White Pearl, Shoreline Blue Pearl and Classic Silver Metallic are the exterior color options; and a unique 'Neutron' fabric has been used in the cabin, which also features split reclining rear seats and an eight-inch capacitive touch screen used for navigation, telematics and EV drive information. 2,600 units are planned over the next three years, with the first models to hit showrooms this summer through select dealers in California.