Supposedly it will be offered for sale, rather than as a lease-only deal as with the Mini E and electric BMW 1 series. As evident from press releases and from the gauge cluster above, Tesla will be supplying the innards, both for the demo vehicles such as the one in the photo and for $100M worth of vehicles as well. Sources: http://blog.caranddriver.com/toyota-con ... s-in-2012/
and http://green.autoblog.com/2011/07/20/te ... -contract/
Unfortunately, actual technical information available on the new vehicle is, uh, scarce. Useless a better term, perhaps? See for yourself:
http://www.toyota.com/esq/articles/2010 ... ogram.html
Powerful electric motor with Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery pack
Zero emission vehicle (ZEV)
Class-leading driving range, acceleration, and top speed
Real world driving range of approximately 100 miles
Yes! A "powerful electric motor"! "Class-leading" performance!
Anyway, some of you who read this may well be wondering why I'm bothering posting about it, as I've made clear in another recent thread that I'm strongly considering a 14 mpg body on frame ICE SUV, albeit one also made by the very same Toyota Motor Corporation, as my next vehicle.
The answer is that I'm married, my wife has definitely not lost her "clean vehicle" religion, and we could definitely get on with one limited range BEV with an ICE/PHEV/HEV as a backup for longer trips. She was eyeing a Nissan Leaf to eventually replace her 90,000+ mile 2nd gen Toyota Prius, but the Leaf's cramped 31.1" rear legroom is a bit of a deal killer. Assuming we have children in the next few years, 31.1" won't work that well for rear-facing car seats in the back seat. The RAV4 EV's promised 38.3" rear legroom would be much more accommodating, and as a freshly christened non-zealot I'm willing to trade 50-100 extra Wh/mile in energy consumption for a bigger, roomier, safer vehicle with the same range.
Another plus for the RAV4 that's an issue for me-of-long-torso-and-big-head, but probably not an issue for most people: although I wouldn't have much reason to be in the back seat regularly, the 37.3" of rear headroom in the Leaf would have my hair solidly against the headliner. The RAV4's 39.7" would be much more comfortable. Context for 37.3": A modern MX-5 Miata has 37.0" of headroom, and the top of the windshield frame on those cars is solidly and annoyingly in my field of view, at about the visual height of speed limit signs across an intersection, if that makes any sense.