Exclusive Video: Interview with RAV4 EV Engineer
As we reported, Toyota unveiled the RAV4 EV prototype last week at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Minutes after the presentation, I spoke with Greg Bernas, the Toyota engineer in charge of the project. It’s still early days in the development of the vehicle, which is due out in 2012, but Greg was able to share a few choice details about the current status of the project.
- Toyota RAV4 is currently in Phase 0, in which Tesla components were applied to the RAV4, for testing and modifications to evaluate range.
- Current testing has the battery pack sized between 30 kWh and 40 kWh, to get a desired 100 miles of range.
- It's unlikely that Toyota will ultimately employ Tesla's battery design, which uses thousands of small commodity battery cells. “The whole battery envelope will be different,” Bernas said.
- Toyota is considering body changes to improve aerodynamics, reduce weight and possibly change wheel size to maximize driving range.
Watch the video below and let me know what else would you like to know. Submit questions below, and I’ll do my best to get the answers from Greg or somebody else at Toyota/Tesla.
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