EV fans the world over have been getting excited about the prospect of Toyota's upcoming electric RAV4 model. The original RAV4 EV is still celebrated by its owners and EV enthusiasts alike - and commands impressive prices when examples come up for sale.

Launched with a fanfare at last November's Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2012 Toyota RAV4 EV will use Tesla power for performance on-par with the V6 gasoline RAV4 and a range that should be competitive with the current crop of EVs.

Now, Tesla has announced they're working on a small electric SUV of their own. Known as the Model X, it's due to hit the market in 2014.

Joining the iconic Roadster and upcoming 2012 Model S sedan, the Model X is still in the early stages of development and is unlikely to gain serious pace until the seven-seat sedan has hit the streets. Near-production Model S prototypes are already up and running and the car is due at the end of 2012. Range is expected to be as much as 300 miles on a charge, and it's set to cost $57,000 before tax credits and other incentives.

Few details about the Model X are known at this stage, but Tesla said that whilst the car will be equivalent in size to a small SUV, interior space will be much greater as the electric drivetrain and components will take up considerably less space than a regular gasoline engine and transmission. it's also likely to share a platform with the Model S as Tesla have expressed an interest in standardizing technology across different vehicle lines.

No images of the Model X have yet been released, but the model could potentially be shown as a concept at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show this Fall.

No doubt working with Toyota on their RAV4 EV has inspired Tesla to develop their own, but the end result will give buyers even more choice in a growing EV market. We can't wait to see if Tesla's take on a crossover is as elegant as the Model S.

[Chicago Tribune]