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First all-electric SUV unveiled: Toyota RAV4 EV

By Linden Volsun - 10 May 2012 13:17:54 GMT
First all-electric SUV unveiled: Toyota RAV4 EV

RAV 4 EV exterior; Credit: © 2012 Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc

The first all-electric SUV has been unveiled at an Electric Vehicle (EV) conference in America. It has taken less than two years for Toyota's RAV4 EV has to go from research and development into production of the electric RAV 4.

The fully equipped electric vehicle, which can travel around 100 miles on a single charge, is the best of both worlds, says Toyota.

Group vice president and general manager of the Toyota division, Bob Carter, says, "The all-new RAV4 EV marries the efficiency of an EV with the versatility of a small SUV - in fact, it is the only all-electric SUV on the market."

The electric vehicle, which takes six hours to fully charge using a 240V/40A charger, has a driving performance and capacity that equals or is better than the petrol-powered RAV.

The RAV4 EV has a suggested selling price of just under $50,000 (£31,000) and will go on sale in late summer, the 26th annual Electric Vehicle Symposium, held in Los Angeles, was told.

The front wheel drive vehicle is a joint project between Toyota and Tesla Motors that designed and produced its battery and electric power train, which includes advanced charging options. The electric power train produces a high of 154 HP (115kW) @ 2,800 rpm.

Drivers can choose from Sport Drive, which achieves speeds of 0-60 mph in seven seconds and a maximum speed of 100 mph or the Normal Mode that reaches 0-60 mph in 8.6 seconds and a maximum speed of 85 mph.

The RAV4 EV produces a smooth and quiet ride, thanks to the lowest coefficient drag of any SUV and low centre of gravity and its battery has a low, central mounting.

The electric vehicle's front bumper, grills, spoiler, under body and side mirrors, have been redesigned to increase airflow around the RAV EV.

The low-beam LED front headlights with halogen high beams feature manual levelling control. The five rear LED lights dim during parking.

The RAV EV comes in Classic Silver Metallic, Blizzard White Pearl and Shoreline Blue Pearl and features a Toyota 'environmental blue' signature on the front door panel. The interior features a Neutron fabric, with a subtle sheen and blue accent on the seats and door trim.

RAV 4 EV interior

RAV 4 EV interior; Credit: © 2012 Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc

Its adjustable driver's seat has front heaters and the reclining rear seats feature folding centre arm rests. The electric vehicle's cargo capacity is 73 cubic feet, the same as the petrol-driven RAV 4.

The internal graphic display, which turns blue in Normal Mode and red in Sport Mode, has an eight-inch touch screen, which provides navigation, telecomm and drive details. There is a satellite radio with Bluetooth audio and a USB port, which can be used by an iPod.

A charging station from Leviton provides various options and the RAV EV comes with an emergency 120V charging cable in case 240V charging options are unavailable.

The RAV4 EV will initially be available in Los Angeles/Orange County, San Diego, Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area and Toyota hopes to sell around 2,600 RAV4 EVs over the next 36 months.

Vehicles normally take five years from development to market, so Toyota and Tesla achieved that in less than half that time.

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Topics: Eco-friendly / Electric Cars