Who made the first electric compact SUV?


As we know already, car makers across the globe are investing a large amount of money on electrification or electric mobility. They are also in a race to beat the established name in the EV business, the Tesla.

Start-ups have been formed too, just to beat the aforementioned Californian company, and I’ve literally lost count of how many articles I’ve written on electric vehicles over the past two years.

Recently, Hyundai unveiled the all-electric Kona, which the company claimed to be the first fully-electric subcompact SUV on the European market.

Apparently, they also put up this billboard outside Geneva trolling Tesla/Elon Musk. The billboard just says “the first electric compact SUV is here”. But, who actually made the first all-electric “compact SUV”?

While the mass production of electric vehicles dates back to 1900s or earlier, the first “electric compact SUV” seems to be the Toyota RAV4 EV? The first generation RAV4 EV was available back in 1997 till 2003. It produced about 67 hp / 50 kW and 190 Nm of torque.


Interestingly, the second generation RAV4 EV was developed in association with Tesla. It was short lived though, from 2012 – 2014. Toyota focused on hybrids and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles afterwards.

From what we understand, the RAV4 EVs were produced in limited numbers, and most of them were sold in the United States. In that case, the all-electric Hyundai Kona might be the first one.

What’s more interesting is that Tesla is cooking their version of electric compact SUV, rumored to be named ‘Model Y’ and expected to be revealed in 2020.

Also Read: Toyota sells all shares of Tesla

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