It almost doesn't seem possible. Just three months after we learned that the Toyota/Tesla alliance was more than just a capital-raising, technology-sharing venture—and that it would send a real vehicle to the market in less than three years—the carmaker has announced that we will actually see the fruits of that collaboration this fall. According to the company's Twitter feed, the Toyota RAV4 EV will make its debut at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show in November.
In July, we learned that the RAV4 plug-in was in development, and even got the chance to talk to two Toyota representatives about the car, which is scheduled to hit the market in 2012. The RAV4 will be fitted with Tesla's lithium ion battery technology and be redesigned to be more aerodynamic. Toyota told Plugincars.com that the RAV4 was an ideal platform because it allows engineers to "pack a lot more battery for longer range." What exactly that range might be remains to be seen.
Toyota has already received a prototype RAV4 EV and has been testing it, but this announcement means that it's likely the company thinks it has something it can work with. It will be interesting to see what about this car made Toyota a believer after years of playing the waiting game with fully electric vehicles. In November, we should get our first clues.