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Toyota RAV4 EV arrives at NAIAS

Toyota RAV4 EV

Created in partnership with Tesla Motors, Toyota unveiled this week at the 2012 Detroit Motor Show the EV version of the RAV4. As you would expect, the electric model is based on the conventional-powered RAV4 and has a front-wheel drive configuration.

It features a 150 hp electric motor that is linked to a big 50 kWh battery. We say big because the one that the Nissan Leaf has is able to store up to 24 kWh so it’s more than double the size. Charging from a conventional plug socket takes about 12 hours due to the size of the batteries.

With a full charge, the Toyota RAV4 EV is able to provide a range of up to 150 miles and should offer similar performances to a 6-cylinder-powered cars. It will be able to do the 0-62 mph sprint in a decent 9 seconds, on its way to an electronically limited top speed of 100 mph. These are some pretty good figures coming from an electric vehicle.

The good news is that Toyota has already started the production of the car but the thing is that they will make only a few hundred of them while the company evaluates the batter technology provided by Tesla. In addition, they also have to figure out the customer driving habits. The company’s purpose is “to grow trust in the product, and gain experience.”

Aside from this EV, Toyota is also working hard on an electric version of the petite iQ which in the United States will be sold as a Scion starting with this year. This one offers a range of only 50 miles so it probably won’t be sold to the general public. Instead, it will most likely be leased to car sharing schemes and clubs, in an attempt to learn more about how these cars manage to do in today’s harsh traffic conditions. As we reporter in previous articles, the car will be manufacture at one of Toyota’s factories, not at Tesla Motors.

It seems that the automotive industry is going greener and greener, which some consider to be a good thing. We will let you be the judge of that.

Source: Toyota via Auto Express

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