The pure-electric Toyota RAV4 motors toward production, with Toyota and partner Tesla Motors today announcing that the SUV will be built at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada (TMMC) factory in Woodstock, Ontario beginning in 2012.
This new RAV4 EV promises to be the first mass-market, electric vehicle from Toyota offered in the United States. By targeting the popular small SUV market, Toyota avoids direct competition against the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf, upcoming Focus EV, and its own Prius plug-in.
The RAV4 EV was co-developed with Tesla Motors providing key components and engineering, tapping into Tesla's leadership in energy density. The two companies have been courting a relationship, with Toyota taking a stake in the small California-based automaker, commissioning electric test vehicles, and collaborating on the production RAV4 EV.
The current RAV4 was redesigned for the 2006 model year. Given the announced timeline, it is likely that the 2013 RAV4 EV would be based on a next-generation model. Doing so would allow the vehicle to be specifically engineered to accommodate the electric components.
The RAV4 EV will be sold through Toyota dealerships. Pricing and technical details will be disclosed closer to production time.
Learn about future technologies in our guide to alternative fuels.
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