Here’s a proof that things are moving faster and faster in today’s world – or, at least, faster than I thought. Not a long time ago we’ve been presenting the partnership between Tesla and Toyota to bring a RAV4 electric vehicle to the market. Now it’s alive – here it is, at this year’s LA auto show.
The Tesla-Toyota RAV4 promises more than Nissan’s Leaf – a true, clean 100 miles of pure electric driving no matter what the weather’s like or the temperature outside. They are already issuing a Phase Zero series prototype and plan many enhancements for the Phase 1.
It looks like Tesla imported the drivetrain from their upcoming Model S and put it on the RAV, otherwise I can’t explain how on earth they managed to squeeze all that research about the battery, the power electronics, electric motors, gearbox and software in a time frame so tight.
Toyota had already launched a version of the RAV4 EV, which got sold at the time, but back then it wasn’t a commercial success like the Prius so they eventually quit making it. Still, they didn’t do it the GM way.
As for a final assembly location, Toyota is considering many options and combinations. The basic vehicle will continue to be built at its Canadian production facility in Woodstock, Ontario. Tesla will build the battery and related parts and components at its new facility in Palo Alto, Calif. The method and installation location of the Tesla components into the vehicle is being discussed.
The car is going to hit the market in 2012, so they will probably make some waiting lists, just like Tesla did with the Roadster. Here’s the press release.