Mike Stevens | Nov 11, 2010

Toyota has confirmed it will reveal an all-electric version of its RAV4 SUV at the Los Angeles Motor Show next week.

This announcement follows reports out of Japan in July about its development, and comments from Toyota Executive Vice President Takeshi Uchiyamada in Detroit last month.

Developed in partnership with electric dynamo Tesla at the NUMMI assembly plant in California owned by both companies, the electric RAV4 is expected to go on sale in international markets from 2012.

To build anticipation, Toyota has also released two teaser images, revealing the open nature of its partnership with Tesla.

While technical specifications have yet to be revealed, the RAV4 EV is expected to be the only all-electric SUV on the market when it goes on sale in the US in 2012. Tesla has confirmed that it will supply the RAV4 EV's battery packs and electric motor systems.

Toyota has focused largely on hybrid vehicles until now, but new challengers in the electric vehicle segment such as those from Nissan, Mitsubishi, BMW and Volkswagen had the world number-one carmaker at a disadvantage.

By teaming with the innovative Tesla however, the Japanese carmaker could potentially leapfrog its rivals. Toyota's new direction in EV technology is certainly worth watching.

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