Toyota By Tesla Debuts in L.A.

November 18, 2010

By Mark Kleis,

Toyota took advantage of its recently-forged relationship with EV sports car manufacturer Tesla by introducing an electric RAV4 today at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The RAV4 EV concept – as it’s currently being billed – has a 100 mile range. The automaker plans to build 35 examples for engineering use in 2011 before formally launching the small SUV in 2012.

Outside, the RAV4 EV is distinguished by a more aerodynamic front fascia and a unique paint scheme. Inside, custom seat trim and a unique push-button transmission remind drivers that they’re not in a standard RAV4.

In addition to the confirmation of the RAV4, Toyota is also aiming to develop an electric Corolla, but the RAV4 was the best fit for Tesla’s battery pack so it got the nod at this time. An electric Lexus RX SUV is also a possibility.

Look for more details to emerge in the coming months as Toyota prepares to put its RAV4 EV on the road.