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Toyota and Tesla are cooking up a new Rav4 EV, set to go on sale in 2012.  (Source: Peak Oil Garage)

The first Japanese Tesla Roadster owner is loving his new ride.  (Source: Tesla Motors)
The Roadster sees release in Japan, Hong Kong, Poland, Turkey and Canada

Electric-vehicle automaker Tesla's successful initial public offering may have been marred by a quick recoil, but the massive amount of capital it pulled in will help make the company very viable in the near term. 

Two weeks ago, Tesla snagged Apple's former head of retail development.  This week Tesla showed off some more commercial advances, announcing that it was delivering its first Roadster orders to Japan Hong Kong, Poland, Turkey and Canada.  

BizSeek's founder Takao Ozawa was the first person in Japan to receive an order.  Ozawa comments, "As an early adopter, I wanted to invest my own money to show the rest of society what the electric car experience is like.  And now that I own a Tesla, I've found that not only is it efficient and beautiful – but it’s really, really fast!"

Vincent and Maggie Argiro -- the first Canadian owners -- sold their Ferrari 360 Modena to buy the Roadster.  They blog, "The 2010 Roadster feels solid, quite refined.  The driving was both thrilling and more relaxing than we had experienced with other sports cars we have owned. Breathing totally clean air around us was so refreshing and made it that much more shocking when we re-entered the filthy exhaust stream of a petro-burner ahead of us!"

They say the Ferrari is in "excellent condition, but a bit obsolete."

In related Tesla news, the company is fleshing out its partnership with Toyota to deliver at least some of the company's electric vehicles.  Tesla writes that its first RAV4 EV crossover SUV prototype is complete and that it is on pace to deliver a test fleet of the EV SUVs before the year's end.

The press release states that the vehicle will go on sale in 2012.

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RAV4 EV Part 2?
By Ytsejamer1 on 7/19/2010 11:55:01 AM , Rating: 2
If I remember right, Toyota already had an EV RAV4 out...but they sh!tcanned them all. I think I remember that documentary 'Who Killed The Electric Car' and someone was tailing an EV RAV4 to the dock where it was to be loaded onto a ship and then brought somewhere to be crushed.

RE: RAV4 EV Part 2?
By walk2k on 7/19/2010 1:53:22 PM , Rating: 1
This is true. Chevron/Texaco bought the patent to the EV battery and stopped making them.

There are still some in use, though. Plus there are a lot of natural-gas RAV4 in use in fleets (a petroleum product ...)

RE: RAV4 EV Part 2?
By monkeyman1140 on 7/19/2010 4:24:47 PM , Rating: 2
I believe those were actually Toyota fuel cell vehicles to be crushed.

Fuel Cells are a dead end, as each vehicle would cost $1,000,000, pricy even for Tom Cruise.

RE: RAV4 EV Part 2?
By CharonPDX on 7/19/2010 8:16:14 PM , Rating: 2
Toyota did take back and destroy all of the leased RAV4 EVs, but it was also the only "consumer purchasable" factory EV in modern times. (Where "modern times" = >1960)

Ford offered the Ranger EV for sale as a fleet vehicle, but the RAV4 EV was sold in standard Toyota dealerships for about 8 months in 2002, to standard consumers. It was officially withdrawn from sale the day after CARB changed their rules to allow Toyota's hybrids to qualify in place of EVs.

The Ford Ranger EV was only leased to consumers, although some found loopholes in their lease contracts that allowed them to purchase them at the end, which was *NOT* supposed to happen. (Some dealers used generic lease-with-option-to-buy forms instead of the Ranger EV's lease-only form.) In addition, while the Ranger EV was officially only leased to consumers; it was available for both lease and purchase by fleets. Thus, some now-former fleet vehicles have been sold into the consumer market.

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