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Tesla-powered Toyota RAV4 EV breaks cover in new photos

Remember that Tesla-powered RAV4 EV we told you about earlier this week? It's been unveiled at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show -- we have some rather attractive pictures.

Rory Reid
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Remember that Tesla-powered Toyota RAV4 EV we told you about earlier this week? It's finally been unveiled at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show and we have some rather attractive pictures.

Unlike many electric vehicles, which tend to have fallen out of the kooky tree and hit every weird branch on the way down, the RAV4 EV is based on the current RAV4, so it looks like an ordinary car. What's far from ordinary, of course, is the fact the RAV4 EV is so large. It's probably the most imposing electric vehicle we've seen outside of an inter-city train.

The RAV4 EV came to life in the simplest of ways. Toyota built and supplied a fully engineered, current-generation RAV4, Tesla built and supplied a battery and electric motor, and engineers from both sides locked themselves in a room with said components (plus various hammers, string, possibly some glue) until the RAV4 EV was born.

The prototype RAV4 EV will have a lithium metal oxide battery in the 'mid-30kWh' range, according to Toyota, which it believes will allow for a real-world cruising range of 100 miles.

That said, Toyota's not reached a final decision on the size of the battery, which would easily increase (or decrease) in capacity. Here's hoping Toyota decide to fit the the 53kWh pack used in the Tesla Roadster.

What's unlikely to change during the vehicle's development lifetime is the looks. It'll be very much recognisable as a RAV4, though the slightly tweaked front bumper, grille, fog and head lamps, and the 'EV' badging, should help it stand out from the standard models.

Toyota plans to start selling the RAV4 EV in 2012, though pricing, performance and the number of vehicles to be built are still to be confirmed.

Have a gander through our photo gallery above to get a closer look and tell us what you think in the comments below.

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When you want your car electrified, who better to turn to than Tesla?
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These look familiar. They're the same transmission switches you'd find in a Tesla Roadster.
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Toyota is really milking the Tesla relationship here, and for good reason -- the Roadster is hot property.
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Toyota says the RAV4 EV will have a 100-mile real-world driving range. That means 100 miles even if you're using the stereo, air-con, electric windows and other power-hungry luxuries.
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It's unusual seeing such a large electric vehicle, but it makes a change from the plethora of weird-looking, Noddy-inspired city cars.
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The RAV4 EV will go on sale in 2012.

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