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by Brett Davis

Toyota has revealed the new Toyota RAV4 EV at the Los Angles Auto Show. It’s the project that was developed in conjunction with Tesla. A few months ago, Toyota was rumoured to have handed over two Toyota RAV4 cars to Tesla for a future electric vehicle project. Now we know that is exactly what was happening.

Using a lithium metal oxide battery, the electric setup offers a usable output rated at around 30kWh. Toyota says this system allows the car to have a range of around 160km, although the company also says this setup is simply on trial and may be slightly revised once it hits the market.

The vehicle weighs just 100kg more than the petrol V6 version but is still capable of accelerateing from 0-100km/h in the same amount of time – around 7.5 seconds. Due to the extra weight of the electric motor and mainly the battery though, Toyota has had to revise the steering and suspension to suit.

The project is run by  Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America (TEMA) Technical Center in Michigan, US. TMS president and chief operating officer, Jim Lentz, said:

“From the beginning, the customer experience has been the focus. In other words, how do we deliver an unconventional product to mainstream customers that is compelling and affordable and that offers an acceptable level of daily convenience?”

Toyota announced 35 of the vehicles will be produced and used for demonstration and research purposes in the US during 2011, with market production taking place in 2012.




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