Video: Interview with RAV4 EV Engineer
As we recently reported, Toyota unveiled the RAV4 EV prototype last week at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Minutes after the presentation, Brad Berman of HybridCars.com 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 Bernas was able to share a few choice details about the current status of the project. See the video interview below.
- 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.
We’ll continue to monitor Toyota’s progress with the new RAV4 EV crossover SUV, which promises to be one of the most useful and versatile pure electric cars coming to the market. “You can go to the beach go on picnics and take stuff, and not worry about getting back and forth from your destination on the range we’ll provide with this vehicle,” Bernas said.