Toyota showcases RAV4 EV with Tesla powertrain

Posted by Shane McGlaun

Toyota has finally pulled the wraps off its new RAV4 EV, a relatively small SUV equipped with a Tesla designed powertrain.

Personally, I'm not at all surprised, as Tesla offers one of the best EV power trains on the market with some of its vehicles boasting driving ranges of over 200 miles per charge. In addition, Toyota and Tesla have maintained a lucrative electric vehicle partnership for some time now.

What are the production plans for the RAV4 EV?

Well, Toyota says it plans on selling approximately 2600 of the electric SUVs over the next three years, with availability slated for four California locations: San Diego, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and the San Francisco Bay area.

Presumably, this means the vehicle won't be available outside of California, at least not initially.

As expected, the RAV4 EV is far from cheap, with a list price of $49,800.

"We look forward to seeing how the market responds," said Bob Carter, Toyota’s group VP and general manager.

Toyota estimates the RAV4's range at about 100 miles per charge, with real world ratings likely to hover in the 70 to 75-mile range. Carter believes  the new RAV4 EV will attract "sophisticated early technology adopters, much like the first-generation Prius."

The performance of the electric version should match that of the RAV4 V6 powered iteration in normal mode, hitting 60 mph in 8.6 seconds and boasting a top speed limited to 85 mph. Of course, the EV is somewhat more spry in sport mode, with a sprint from 0 to 60 mph, requiring 7 seconds and a top speed of 100 mph.

The Tesla supplied lithium-ion battery pack, electric motor, and other parts are rated for 154 HP, and the warranty is eight years or 100,000 miles on the battery. The vehicle will ship with a standard 120 V charge cable, but Toyota is working with a provider on a 240 V charging cable. The battery pack requires six hours to charge on a 40 amp 9.6 kW charging station.