Tesla Built an Electric RAV 4 and a Lexus RX For Toyota

In a move that has even industry insiders reeling, a source deep within Toyota has outlined 2 new all electric models that are currently being developed in a joint Tesla-Toyota deal. Surprisingly Tesla is said to have delivered the first two prototypes last Friday on July the 10th. The popular RAV 4 SUV and premium SUV the Lexus RX underwent a full electric conversion, apparently the SUV’s were chosen due to their ability to carry the extra weight of the lithium-ion battery packs without suspension and chassis strengthening.

Toyota is said to be aiming to sell the RAV 4 version for around the $40,000 USD mark, the vehicle would have a 150 mile range (240km) and a sales date set for 2012. Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) are also said to be working on an all electric version of the popular Corolla model. These are test vehicles and we can expect to see some changes before the actual production models hit the roads but the speed at which Tesla was able to electrify pre-existing internal combustion cars has made more than a few heads spin.

We’ll keep you updated as more news comes in.

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Update – Our source got a little ahead of himself, it turns out that Tesla said on the 10th they they would deliver the two SUVs this month. Not that they were delivered on the 10th of this month. Doh! Looks like we were 1-2 weeks early off the mark.

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4 Comments

James Anderson Merritt

Remember that, during the GM EV1 era, Toyota had an all-electric RAV-4 that it leased to customers. Unlike GM, Toyota let many of the lessees purchase their EV-RAV-4s when the EV program was cancelled. I still see some of them driving around Santa Cruz CA today. It will be interesting to see what the “Tesla-fied” modern RAV-4 will be like, as well as the rumored Corolla EV. My son drives a 1990 Corolla that has been in our family since it was new. It’s a dependable, hardy little vehicle, but has always needed a little more “oomph.” An all-electric drivetrain could certainly deliver thrills, even in that old car. :-)

Stephen A.

Why would this move have industry insiders “reeling”? It was announced last year that Toyota and Tesla were partnering up. The logical deduction was that Tesla would be providing its expertise to its partner, and Toyota would be providing capital to Tesla.

I wonder, though, whether we’ll ever see a production electric car from Toyota lower than that $40,000 price point. A bit high for most average drivers (and for a RAV4.) Still, a good start.

Elemental P

@ Stephen – Did you read the whole article? You would have seen this if you did;

” These are test vehicles and we can expect to see some changes before the actual production models hit the roads but the speed at which Tesla was able to electrify pre-existing internal combustion cars has made more than a few heads spin.”

It will always boil down to four parameters:
– Range
– Cargo capacity
– Recharge time
– Price

The new RAV4 scores thus:
– B
– Unknown
– Unknown
– C-


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