Toyota unveiled an all-electric version of its RAV4 compact SUV Monday in Los Angeles at the International Electric Vehicle Symposium. The automaker says in a statement the RAV4 EV will have a range of about 100 miles on a fully-charged battery and will take about six hours to charge with a 240-volt charger.
The RAV4 EV will cost $49,800, which is $27,150 more than the $22,650 base gas-powered 2012 RAV4, and will go on sale later this summer in select Toyota dealerships in California. To start, Toyota will sell the RAV4 EV in Los Angeles/Orange County, San Diego, the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento.
In 2010, Toyota announced that the electric compact SUV would be developed in conjunction with electric automaker Tesla, who produced the electric RAV4’s battery and powertrain for Toyota. The front-wheel drive RAV4 EV will produce 154 horsepower and Toyota says that the electric SUV can hit 60 mph in seven seconds in sport mode.
Currently, there are no other all-electric affordable compact SUVs on sale in the U.S., which would make the Toyota RAV4 EV the first in its class. “Toyota previously produced a RAV4 EV from 1997 to 2003, making the new version the second generation,” CNET reports.
At slightly less than $50,000, Toyota says the RAV4 EV will come fully-equipped with features like heated front seats, 8-inch touch screen, navigation, satellite radio, Bluetooth and a USB port. The automaker says maximum cargo space will be 73 cubic feet (with the second- and third-row seats folded), which is the same as in the gas-powered RAV4.
“We believe that the RAV4 EV will attract sophisticated early technology adopters, much like the first-generation Prius,” Bob Carter, group vice president and general manager of the Toyota division, says in a statement. “It’s designed for consumers who prioritize the environment and appreciate performance.”
But at more than twice the price of the base RAV4, The Wall Street Journal’s Jonathan Welsh says that although Toyota’s goal of selling 2,600 RAV4 EVs in the next three years “seems modest,” he’s not sure the automaker will be able to hit that number. “Perhaps I’m missing some vital piece of information, but I can’t imagine more than a handful of people willing to spend twice the cost of a gasoline-powered RAV4 to have an electric version.”
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