It took more than around 13 years, but Toyota seems to have finally decided on producing the second-generation of the Toyota Rav4 EV. Maybe all it took was a partnership with Tesla to get the proverbial EV ball rolling.
The partnership between Toyota and Tesla was born out of a mutual interest in developing a new model using Tesla technology on a Toyota vehicle, incorporating the strengths of both side to produce a vehicle that consumers would come to enjoy.
“When we decided to work together on the RAV4 EV, President Akio Toyoda wanted to adopt a new development model that incorporated Tesla’s streamlined, quick-action approach,” said Jim Lentz, president and chief operating officer of Tesla Motors. “From the beginning, the customer experience has been the focus.”
The ultimate question, at least according to Hentz, was how the two companies can "deliver an unconventional product to mainstream customers that is compelling and affordable and that offers an acceptable level of daily convenience.”
In the end, the answer turned out to be the Toyota Rav4 EV. For now, Toyota is building 35 models of the new Rav4 EV for a demonstration and evaluation program through 2011, with the company looking into a production version sometime around 2012.
More details after the jump.