2012 Toyota RAV4 EV Prototype Test Drive Toyota RAV4 EV Prototype …

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2012 Toyota RAV4 EV Test Drive

Toyota and are teaming up for a new electric RAV4, time with respectable and impressive power. The only is: Does it work out in the real


April 26, 2011 11:00 AM Size: A. A. A

On Sale Date: but for commercial and government fleets

Competitors: Nissan Leaf, Volt

Powertrain: 150-hp magnet electric motor, (estimated) lithium-ion battery FWD

Range: 80 to 120 miles

What’s New: Last Toyota invested $50 million in and many wondered what arise from this partnership. Now we have an early an electrified RAV4 that a Tesla-supplied battery pack and motor. The battery itself is a 660-pound monster mounted the floor. Toyota says it 37 kwh of usable energy, which the total capacity is around 50 kwh use only a portion of the battery for durability reasons).

The car we drove was an prototype, and Toyota was coy about of the details. For example, we don’t how many cells make up the pack, but as with the Tesla the number is somewhere in the thousands. And the has yet to be released.

Tech Tidbit: In the hunt for electrical storage capacity, the battery pack uses a lithium-ion chemistry that so far is to the RAV4 EV program. Yet despite the that this new chemistry is one of the carefully guarded secrets in cars, charging still 12 hours at 240 volts and 28 hours at 120

Driving Character: Finding a big red disconnect switch near the button is usually a sign of things to come, and the RAV4 EV a demonstration of the Toyota Tesla doesn’t disappoint at first The monstrous battery leads to a 3932-pound curb weight, but the car feel weighed down in the Both the steering and handling a pleasant lightness, and body is well managed. Braking is vehicle’s strong suit, the regenerative system doing all of the work and the calipers only for emergencies or full stops at a

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As with nearly all EVs, acceleration is brisk: The RAV4 a 9.0-second 0-to-60 time and a top speed of 100 mph.

Favorite Detail: We’re the Tesla-style transmission control in the center console won’t it to production, but it doesn’t mean aren’t slick. According to they aren’t doing in customer clinics despite a Jetsons -esque feel. probably see a more Prius-like in the RAV4 EV.

Too bad.

Driver’s The regenerative braking calibration on prototypes is far too aggressive. Deceleration was so we were tempted to ask if the brake illuminate when the driver lifts from the accelerator. attributed this behavior to the nature of the car, and says the calibration wouldn’t be so severe in

The Bottom Line: It’s too early to tell exactly how the Tesla partnership will shape. But clearly, Toyota is in Tesla’s battery technology and is the RAV4 as a test bed. As an EV, it fine brisk acceleration, operation and surprisingly good .

But it suffers the same disadvantages as all Its 100-mile real-world range, good for a modern EV, limits the to second-car status. And the price likely be quite high the car hits the open market.

2012 Toyota RAV4 EV Gallery

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