Yesterday Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc. (TMMC) announced it will increase RAV4 production at its Woodstock, Ontario plant with plans also to produce the 2012 RAV4 EV.
Previously Toyota had only said the second-generation electric RAV would be built in North America, but now it has specified the vehicle made in collaboration with Tesla will be made in Canada.
The RAV 4 EV was first shown at the 2010 LA Auto Show. Its range was them estimated at 100 miles and acceleration was said to be equal to the gasoline-powered RAV4, despite a weight penalty of 220 pounds.
Like the Scion iQ, the RAV4 EV does not let its Tesla-made batteries impede interior space and will retain its full 74 cubic feet of cargo room.
Overall plans for Woodstock will see its annual assembly line capacity increased from 150,000 vehicles to 200,000 as part of an $80 million [CAD] initiative to create more jobs while increasing greener, more efficient vehicles.
TMMC Chairman Ray Tanguay said the company is optimistic that the market is coming back and it is grateful for the strong sales of the RAV4 in the North American market.
Further touting the company’s position, Brian Krinock, President of TMMC said the Canadian workers are doing a particularly good job, and implicitly represent a worthwhile investment for more production.
“From the moment TMMC opened the Woodstock plant, Team Members have consistently built quality in to each and every RAV4,” Krinock said. “Our customers recognize and appreciate their skill.”
Aside from the Woodstock plant, TMMC has two more in Cambridge, ON, employs approximately 6,500, and manufactures the Corolla, Matrix, RAV4, and the Lexus RX 350 vehicles.
Last year, Toyota noted it would be evaluating 35 RAV4 EV test mules based on Canadian-built RAV4s that also made use of “additional components built in Palo Alto, Calif.”
Now that TMMC has confirmed the production version will be built beginning some time this year at the plant from which the prototypes had also originated, we still await more details regarding production plans and pricing.