Toyota showcases the second generation RAV4 EV

Japanese car giant Toyota gave their take and showed their stuff at the recent Los Angeles Motor Show 2010 where they put out the new second generation RAV4 EV. The new RAV4 will be a result of the collaboration between Toyota with Tesla where they will be building some 35 vehicles to evaluated throughout next year so as to prepare for its official launch in 2012.

According to Jim Lentz, the president and Chief Operating Officer of TMS, when they decided to work with Toyota on the new RAV4 EV, Akio Toyoda, the president of Toyota was keen to use the quick-action approach associated with Tesla and hence, they came up with the hybrid. The Michigan based TEMA (Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America) led the development while Tesla was involved primarily in building and supplying the battery and its related materials.

With the new RAV4 EV, they are very much focused on drivability which kept to the original DNA of the widely popular RAV4. The current model uses the lithium metal oxide battery pack but they have yet to finalize if that would be the end product. Furthermore, they have also not decided on where they will assemble the new model when it is finalized as they have been previously using the Woodstock plant in Ontario, Canada to roll out the stock model. On the other hand, Tesla will be building their parts in their newly built Palo Alto plant in California.

For the new EV, they have put in quite a lot of changes in terms of design where it now comes with a new grille, fog and head lights as well as a nice front bumper. A ‘mutually exclusive’ colour has also been developed to distinguish the EV from the standard models. Inside the car, there are also new dashboard meters, a built into the dashboard multimedia system as well as a customized seat trim. They also did not compromise in cargo space despite coming with the battery pack where with the seats folded down, you will get 73 cubic-foot of cargo area. Apart from the nice touch screen DVD system, you also get the push button enabled smart key system as well. This surely is how the future is like for Toyota and with the recent turn of events, some good news would very much be welcomed.