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Toyota has several fingers in a few electric pies. There's the electric car it's working on in-house, in conjunction with Panasonic, using proprietary technology. Then there are two mash-up prototypes that Tesla is building for Toyota, which according to Bloomberg include an electric RAV4 and Lexus RX. According to the report, the crossovers were chosen because they're the best fit for the weight of Tesla's battery pack, which uses 6,831 lithium-ion batteries.

Even though the Elon Musk says he expects, "range and acceleration exceeding that of other announced electric vehicles of this class," we wonder if he's including a crossover like the BYD e6. The electric SUV from China is currently testing in the Shenzhen taxi fleet and claimed to have a range of 186 miles. If that's his target, then the numbers would exceed the figures Toyota has for the joint project, with an ideal cost of "about $40,000 with 150 miles (240 kilometers) of driving range per charge."

Tesla's electrified RAV4 and Lexus RX are predicted to be delivered to Toyota this month, so expect a barrage of news to be forthcoming.

[Source: BusinessWeek]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Autoline's also reported the Rav4 and RX ^_^
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow who would have thought the Rav4 EV would make a comeback? Plug In America must be static over this news, so am I.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Part of me wants to say "WHY SUV's!" but then I realize that the SUV's are their biggest money makers. Would of perfered them attempt to say put some of those battery packs into a Camry or even a Corolla. But nice to see Toyota dipping their hands into a investment in a good way.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yes, and it helps them consolidate their brand in the EV market with a product different from anything available (other than the AMP Equinox).
        • 4 Years Ago
        At least you won't have a fuel leak when you roll it over.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The story goes on to say they, Toyota feel a cost-savings exist in stuffing off-the-shelf batteries from computers into cars rather then develop a full new battery . I'm sure they save a few R&D dollars, but at what cost? How innovate - purchase 1 million lithium ion batteries from Toshiba's supplier and stuff them into all the nooks and crannies you can find on your SUV.

      Ta da - EV Hybrid SUV.

        • 4 Years Ago
        "The pack is designed to prevent catastrophic cell failures from propagating to adjacent cells, even when the cooling system is off. Coolant is pumped continuously through the ESS both when the car is running and when the car is turned off if the pack retains more than a 90% charge."

        Again, I think that's where the gold lies...Batteries in general are quite simple, but battery management for lithium Ion cells is supposedly quite complex. If you want to put the time and money into developing your own battery chemistry, go ahead, but it takes a large amount of it to come up with something groundbreaking. In most cases, you're better off outsourcing, and Toyota is trying to find out if Tesla is outsourcing to the right people...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Thanks for pointing that out, Jason. Makes sense now.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Per Wiki (The trusted source of data today - haha ). I just don't see anything revolutionary here but then again I'm neither an automotive expert nor an engineer. I'm just a regular Joe with the World Wide Web.

        Tesla Motors refers to the Roadster's battery pack as the Energy Storage System or ESS. The ESS contains 6,831 lithium ion cells arranged into 11 "sheets" connected in series; each sheet contains 9 "bricks" connected in series; each "brick" contains 69 cells connected in parallel (11S 9S 69P). The cells are 18 mm (0.71 in) in diameter and 65 mm (2.6 in) long (18650 form-factor); this type of lithium-ion cell is also found in most laptop computer batteries. The pack is designed to prevent catastrophic cell failures from propagating to adjacent cells, even when the cooling system is off. Coolant is pumped continuously through the ESS both when the car is running and when the car is turned off if the pack retains more than a 90% charge. The coolant pump draws 146 watts.

        A full recharge of the battery system requires 3½ hours using the High Power Connector which supplies 70 amp, 240 volt electricity; in practice, recharge cycles usually start from a partially charged state and require less time. A fully charged ESS stores approximately 53 kWh of electrical energy at a nominal 375 volts and weighs 992 lb (450 kg).

        Tesla Motors stated in February 2009 that the current replacement cost of the ESS is slightly under USD$36,000, with an expected life span of 7 years/100,000 mi (160,000 km), and began offering owners an option to pre-purchase a battery replacement for USD$12,000 today with the replacement to be delivered after seven years. The ESS is expected to retain 70% capacity after 5 years and 50,000 miles (80,000 km) of driving (10,000 miles (16,000 km) driven each year). Tesla Motors provides a 3 year/36,000 mile warranty on the Roadster with an optional 4 year/50,000 mile extended warranty available at an "additional cost" (2008 Roadster buyers received the 4/50 extension at no cost while later purchasers need to pay). A non-ESS warranty extension is available for USD$5,000 and adds another 3/36 to the coverage of components, excluding the ESS, for a total of 6 years/72,000 mi (120,000 km)
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