Toyota and Tesla teamed together to make the biggest announcement at today’s Electric Vehicle Symposium (EVS26) at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Here’s a portion of the press release from Toyota:
LOS ANGELES (May 7, 2012) — Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. today revealed the highly anticipated all-new Toyota RAV4 EV at the 26th annual Electric Vehicle Symposium in Los Angeles. This all-electric SUV has an expected driving range rating of approximately 100 miles and charging time of approximately six hours on a 240V/40A charger. The RAV4 EV’s driving performance, dynamics and cargo capacity are equal to or exceed the gas powered RAV4 V6. Arriving fully-equipped with an MSRP of $49,800 the RAV4 EV doesn’t compromise on performance, comfort or versatility.
This marks Toyota’s first entry into the all-electric vehicle market after achieving such tremendous success in the hybrid market with the Prius, the Prius V and the Prius C as well as the Prius Plug-In hybrid vechile coming on the market this year. According to Toyota’s Bob Carter, the RAV4 EV will be built in Fremont, California at the former New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI) plant that was established as a joint venture in 1984 to manufacture vehicles to be sold under both brands.
“It’s all about blending the best of two worlds,” said Bob Carter, group vice president and general manager of the Toyota division. “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 RAV4 EV is the product of a unique collaboration with Tesla Motors spurred by Akio Toyoda, president and CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation. Twenty-two months after the project announcement, Toyota and Tesla engineers have succeeded in bringing an outstanding product to market in record time.
Among the other highlights of EVS26 is the introduction of a plan to create an “E Highway” where electric trucks will can drive in specific lanes that have electric wires above the lane to power the truck and a large battery pack that powers the vehicle when it is out of the electric lane.
The plan, introduced by global energy powerhouse Siemens, could eventually eliminate the smelly, fuel-hogging diesel trucks that move freight from the ships docked in the port of Los Angeles up the 110 freeway to distribution points throughout the city.
That plan is welcomed by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who accepted the Electric Vehicle Visionary Award for the City of Los Angeles in the morning session kicking off EVS26.