The Toyota RAV4has been turned intothe only all-electricSUV on the marketafter a heart transplant from Tesla Motors.
The RAV4 EV has been givenbatteries and drivetrain bits from the Silicon Valley start-up to turn Toyota’s most popular SUV into an electric-only vehicle with a 160km range.
A massive 422kgof batteries provide the power forthe RAV4 EV, mounted low down in the centre of the vehicleto improve weight distribution. Toyota says that despite the new powertrain,no compromises have been made on passenger space.
Two driving modes offer a choice of speedor economy,Normal and Sport.Normal will send the RAV4from 0-100kph in 8.6 seconds andon to a top speed of 140kph; Sport mode will take you there in 7.0sec and upto 160kph. On full tap, the batteries provide 111 electric kilowatts to the front wheels.
While the 160-kilometre range is generous, a full charge takessix full hours from a 240V/40A charger.That’s reasonable for an electric vehicle, but still inconvenient compared to the pumps.
The RAV4′s body hasbeen modified, too.More streamlinedaddenda (including bumper, grille, mirrors, underbody and rear spoiler) drop the RAV4′s Cd to just 0.30 forgains in economy and top speed. Toyota claims that makes it the slipperiest SUV on the planet.
The RAV4 EV will first go on sale in California at a few select dealers before being rolled out in four metropolitan areas of the US. There are no current plans to import the electric RAV4 anywhere else yet.