Toyota and Tesla are first-movers on electric SUVs

SUV lovers can begin getting exited as Toyota announced this week that it intends to launch an all-electric version of its successful RAV4 this summer; likely in July 2012. The specs have not yet been released, but the new model with the Tesla engineered drive train will be displayed next week at EVS26, the 26th annual International Electric Vehicle Symposium in Los Angeles, CA next week.

The standard combustion engine RAV4 starts at $22,650, so it will be interesting to see what the EV package will run. Anticipated range on the electric SUV is 100 miles; very comparable with its smaller all-electric competitors, the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt.

Tesla is also preparing to launch its own SUV, the Model X late next year. Starting price for this luxury brand model is $49,900 and going up to $97,900 with upgrades, which is very comparable with the Porsche Cayenne.

The really nice thing about these introductory SUVs coming out on the market is that you can see the trend moving in that direction with competition in all typical SUV price ranges from the different makers. Considering how popular SUVs are in the U.S., this is likely a very clever market segment to target and will be much appreciated by consumers.

All-wheel drive, carries the kids and/or gear, saves people from the robbery at the gas pump, AND has zero tailpipe emissions? Sounds like a win to me.

Are there any SUV models or features you are hoping to see being produced as all-electric? Are you excited about the RAV4 or Model X? Leave a comment below!

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2 Responses to Toyota and Tesla are first-movers on electric SUVs

  1. Alex S says:

    Good info. This is good news and I hope consumers will really purchase electric cars so that all auto manufacturers will further this movement. I would love to work at Tesla and wish I was going to EVS26.

    • I totally agree Alex! I definitely see the trend going in that direction with the race to create the most efficient technology. The more EVs that are offered and sold, the more the price will come down into a range where a majority of people can afford to buy them as well. I’m sure the generation of elementary school students today will find it mind-boggling how low the fuel efficiency was in their parents’ and previous generations. It’s exciting to watch technology changing everything we do! I LOVE Tesla, Fisker, and Better Place for their innovative focus! EVS26 would have been amazing to attend!

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