Though just 2,600 RAV4 EVs will be sold over the next three years, the vehicle's unveiling today at the Electric Vehicle Symposium in Los Angeles marks an important milestone for the brand: the RAV4 EV's powertrain is designed and delivered by Tesla Motors.
The cooperative project is the first vehicle to come from the minor tie-up between the two companies, and like the relationship between Tesla and Toyota, the RAV4 EV is mostly about the technology. It will only be sold in four regions within California, and at about 866 units per year, it won't see many homes even within those regions.
Nevertheless, the RAV4 EV could be a tempting vehicle for many, with all of the rAV4's utility but none of the gasoline consumption. Toyota estimates the 2012 RAV4 EV's range at about 100 miles, but according to Green Car Reports, the EPA-estimated range is likely to be closer to 70-75 miles.
Performance from the 154-horsepower electric motor is on par with the V-6 RAV4, at 8.6 seconds to 60 mph, though it's limited to a top speed of 85 mph. A Sport Mode function cuts the 0-60 mph time to 7.0 seconds, and raises top speed to 100 mph.
Pricing for the RAV4 EV starts at $49,800, before state and federal incentives.