The Toyota RAV4 EV just debuted at the LA Auto show. It’s not much of a surprise, really. It’s been known for a while that Toyota and Tesla were working together on the CUV EV. Tesla was tasked with the developing the power train, battery, electronics, electric motor, gearbox and software — pretty much the heart of the vehicle. The first crop are already on the road and seeing a 100 mile range but engineers are working on improving that for the 2012 model.
Exact shipping estimates and such haven’t been announced, but there’s clearly a bigger market for the EV this time than when the first generation hit the streets in 1997. Consumers are aware of the technology, gas is dramatically more expensive, and the nerd stigma was replaced by an eco-hip look. The infrastructure still isn’t where it needs to be for mass adaption but Toyota should have no problem moving more than the 1,484 that it did back in the ’90s.