Toyota RAV4 EV "first drive" opportunity for news media leading to late summer 2012 launch

The new RAV4 EV, an all electric SUV designed jointly by Toyota and Tesla Motors, is due to be launched later this summer, and toady Toyota brought in news media for a first drive opportunity.

The second generation Toyota RAV4 EV, designed in collaboration with Tesla Motors, was shown to news media today for "first drive" opportunities. The all electric SUV will start deliveries through California Toyota dealerships later this summer. While precise specifications have not been released, Toyota "lifted the hood" and "shared developmental and technical details" of the new RAV4 EV.

The new RAV4 EV is a result of a collaboration between Toyota and Tesla. In May 2010 the two companies announced collaboration to develop electric vehicles, parts, production systems and engineering support, and then in June 2010 they announced the new RAV4 EV. Along the way Toyota bought a stake in Tesla Motors, and sold to Tesla a disused factory in Fremont CA which Tesla is now using to manufacture the Tesla Model S. The new RAV4 EV is not assembled in Tesla's factory, but is instead assembled in Toyota's factory in Canada where the gas powered RAV4 is assembled.

The new RAV4 EV was revealed to the public in May 2012, at the EVS26 trade show. To manage the "compressed" (two year) time frame, Toyota developed the eFAST process (early field and suitability testing), a new design protocol put in place for the RAV4 EV to validate and confirm vehicle performance.


Share on Facebook submit to reddit Share on Google+

Sign-up to our email newsletter for daily perspectives on car design, trends, events and news, not found elsewhere.


Why oh why would they pigeonhole their vehicle into a single range? An SUV is the perfect platform to be capable of supporting larger battery packs, why not offer a range of battery options, 100, 200 and 300 miles to let people buy a car with a range that suits their driving habits, it would open up the vehicle to such a larger potential market.