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Toyota Shows Off RAV4 EV, While GM Cancels Hybrid SUVs, Trucks

Toyota RAV4 EV

Well here’s quite a contrast from two big automakers. While enthusiastically marketing its increasingly popular Chevy Volt and eAssist technologies, GM Inside News has reported that General Motors is shuttering its next-generation hybrid program for SUVs and pick-up trucks. At present, two-mode hybrid technology is used in the Chevrolet Silverado, Tahoe, GMC Sierra, Yukon, and Cadillac Escalade.

Meanwhile, Toyota has released a couple of videos showing off its upcoming RAV4 EV, and its development through the Japanese automaker’s partnership with Telsa Motors. The RAV4 EV was announced back in 2010, and Toyota has since said it will have a substantial 100-mile single-charge range.

Sales of the all-electric SUV will begin in California by the end of this year, and it will be priced at US$49,800. The company is only expecting to sell about 2,600 RAV4 EVs in the first three years. I dare say, if the new electric SUV proves popular, production could be ramped-up significantly. After all, Toyota’s Prius range has become one of the world’s top selling car lines in recent times.

The move by GM is not really a surprise, as the two-mode hybrid models haven’t sold well, with only small improvements in fuel economy over non-hybrid models. In most situations, the two-mode hybrid system only gets 20 miles per gallon for city drving, and 23 mpg for highway driving. Gas 2 reports that at this time last year, GM’s trucks were “positively dying on dealer lots, while the company’s smaller, more fuel-efficient offerrings were flying driving off the shelves in much less time”.

The first of the two videos Toyota has released involves discussing the benefits of working with all-electric car startup Tesla Motors, and the other dives into the new aerodynamics, EV-specific features, and how Toyota has built the vehicle with drivers’ potential feelings of electric vehicle range anxiety at front-of-mind.

Via Autoblog and Gas 2

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