2012 RAV4 will be Electrifying

Toyota has become the latest automaker to debut a pure electric vehicle, the RAV4 crossover model that will be introduced sometime in 2012 — adding to the growing list of electrics that will become available over the next couple of years.

The RAV4 Electric demonstration model was unveiled at the recent Los Angeles auto show, one of 35 test models of the vehicle that Toyota says will be built through 2011.

That will allow for complete evaluation before introducing “a fully engineered vehicle” with a “target range” of 100 miles between charges of its battery, the Japanese automaker said.

U.S. electric-vehicle maker Tesla will be Toyota’s partner on the RAV4 Electric, which will include a battery pack and other electric components built by Tesla at its plant in Palo Alto, Calif.

They will be installed in the RAV4 models built at the Toyota plant in Woodstock, Ontario, Canada, but where final assembly with the electric components will occur hasn’t been determined yet, Toyota said.

The demonstration model Toyota showed off in Los Angeles has a lithium-metal-oxide battery. But final specifications for the battery and other electric components remain to be determined, along with the price and what production volumes might be.

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