Earlier this year we heard about Toyota and Tesla Motors teaming up to develop an electric version of the popular RAV4 SUV. Fast forward to the Los Angeles Auto Show, and we now have the first look at said vehicle, which Toyota plans to evaluate through 2011, aiming at market arrival of a fully-engineered vehicle in 2012.

The all-electric Toyota RAV4 EV, according to the Japanese auto giant, will have a target driving range of 100 miles in actual road driving patterns, in a wide variety of climates and conditions. Tesla was responsible for building and supplying the battery, as well as other related parts, that met specific Toyota engineering specifications in performance, quality and durability.  Toyota was responsible for development and manufacturing leadership and the integration of the powertrain.

All images in this galley via Toyota

In terms of looks and modifications from the standard RAV4, Toyota noted the EV version “received several distinct exterior styling changes including a new front bumper, grille, fog lamps and head lamps.  New EV badging and the custom ‘mutually exclusive’ paint color, completed the transformation.  The interior received custom seat trim, multimedia dash displays, push-button shifter and dashboard meters.  The RAV4 platform brings a 73-cubic-foot cargo area with rear seats folded down – no cargo space was lost in the conversion to an electric powertrain.”

Toyota said a total of 35 vehicles will be built initially for evaluation, with each RAV4 being powered by a lithium metal oxide battery with useable output rated in the mid-30 kwh range. Battery size and final output ratings, as well as pricing and volume projections of the vehicle Toyota plans to bring to market in 2012, have not been decided.

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