PHOTOS: Toyota & Tesla Unveil the RAV4 EV


Japanese auto giant Toyota and electric vehicle upstart Tesla Motors (s TSLA) have been working on electrifying Toyota’s RAV4 SUV car for months — back in May the duo first announced the $60 million project, which would revive Toyota’s original EV project with Tesla’s battery and power electronics technology. But at the LA Auto Show on Wednesday the two companies unveiled for the first time the new RAV-4 EV concept, which has a 100-mile range, and is in so-called “Phase 0” of development.

Of course, the new RAV-4 EV at this early stage looks just like the original RAV-4 EV, which Toyota launched in 1997 but didn’t move into widescale commercial production, because Toyota says there wasn’t enough consumer demand. This time around, the production volumes of the RAV4 with Tesla inside (think like Intel (s INTC) inside) will still be based on consumer demand, but Toyota is hoping there will be more interest.

While Phase 0 is basically the RAV-4 car with Roadster technology inside, Phase 1 and 2 of the car will be further designed to be a unique EV. We’ll bring you more on what the development means for Silicon Valley’s own “EV startup that could,” but for now here’s a photo gallery of the unveiling:

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Jan Snider

Great photos of an Electric RAV4. And the mere mention of the name Tesla is sure to bring more interest. Lets hope that Toyota finds it marketable in the US. I think that it may get more that the one hundred mile range that they claim. Tesla Motors in getting a lot more out of the Roadster than that right now. Time will tell.

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