Toyota RAV4 EV to make public debut next week

Toyota, a company known to sing the praises of hybrids, next week will debut the RAV4 EV developed with Tesla Motors to test market demand for electric vehicles.

The RAV4 EV, coming to the U.S. this year.

Toyota will officially unveil the RAV4 EV next week, an all-electric SUV that could be an important indicator of electric vehicles sales overall.

The company earlier this week sent out a notice that it will debut the RAV4 EV on Monday May 7 at the International Electric Vehicle Symposium (EVS26) in Los Angeles, an important conference for EVs.

Toyota has shown off concept RAV4 EVs already, but important details such as price and availability have not yet been disclosed.

The all-electric SUV is the fruit of a partnership between Toyota and Tesla Motors, which is supplying the electric powertrain for the vehicle. It's expected to have a driving range of about 100 miles.

For Toyota, the RAV4 EV is something of a departure from its focus on hybrids and the company's second attempt at an electric RAV4.

The partnership with Tesla, in which Toyota invested $50 million in Tesla two years ago, is an effort to develop mass-market all-electric vehicles and size up market demand for them. After folding its RAV4 EV program, Toyota began to develop hybrids, which company executives say are more affordable way to improve efficiency than all-electric vehicles.

The RAV4 EV, which is expected to have the same cargo space as the gasoline RAV4, will likely be sold in just a few markets initially, as GM, Ford, and Nissan have done.