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by Brett Davis

Toyota’s new Tesla-developed Toyota RAV4 EV is in its final stages of testing. Up to 160 testers have been trialling the RAV4 EV under close inspection by Toyota. Reports now say the car will not go on sale, that it will be only available for lease.

According to reports, the new RAV4 EV will not hit the market next year as initially planned. In an interview with Autocar, Geri Yozza, planning manager for advanced vehicle marketing at Toyota, said that the new RAV4 EV will only be available to car sharing groups and fleets on a lease plan.

Yozza says that results of the testing have been good but says testers did report more frequent instances of recharging than initially thought. However, the cost of the recharging was around $150 for six weeks which was lower than anticipated.

The Toyota RAV4 EV was first unveiled at last year’s Los Angles Auto Show. It features a full Tesla electric powertrain setup, including a lithium metal oxide battery producing 30kWh. The battery pack is able to provide a range of around 160km, and is also capable of propelling the compact SUV from 0-100km/h in around 7.5 seconds.

Toyota has previously said the EV version weighs around 100kg more than the petrol V6 model, but because of this, steering and suspension components have had to be revised somewhat.




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