Terrible Toyota RAV4 EV Tease EV com EV com

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Toyota RAV4 EV

Terrible Toyota RAV4 EV Tease

Written by Ken Green Burridge on 19 June 2013

Surprising news to many is that the 2013 Toyota Rav4 EVs is available now though most people in the world don t know it since Toyota doesn t advertise at all for their ONLY pure electric vehicle even in California where it is mostly sold.

The Toyota RAV4 EV 2013 is available to those electric car fans that look really hard and it is the fully electric version of the popular Toyota RAV4 SUV. The 2013 model is based on 2012 model. Sadly Toyota only plans to produce 2600 units during a three year period and will halt production at the end of 2014 as that is the bare minimum that allows Toyota to comply with California’s ZEV (Zero Emission Vehicle) mandate, which requires a certain percentage of their vehicles sold in California to be clean and green.

This allows Toyota to keep selling about ten times more fossil fuel burning cars, which California won t let them do without selling their quota of ZEVs or they get fined $5,000 for each ZEV vehicle that they failed to produce.

Buyer Beware should be the motto of those searching for this electric SUV so as not to confuse current models of the Toyota RAV4 EV with the first generation that are still on the road. First generation Toyota RAV4 EVs were produced between 1997-2003 and incidentally sell for nearly the same price as the new model, which says volumes about EV resale value and demand. In fact more than a 1/3 of those EV SUVs are still zipping along just fine today and using their original EV batteries, which should help silence those that think EV batteries are only good for a few years.

This new generation of the Toyota RAV4 EV uses a Tesla Motors Model S drive train and batteries, but the SUV package costs less than Tesla s Model S luxury sedan. The 41.8-kwh battery pack is liquid cooled and is twice as large as most of the competition Nissan LEAF 24-kwh, Ford Focus Electric 23-kwh and the Honda Fit EV 20-kwh.

It might seem a little crazy that Toyota has NOT been advertising that the electric version of their popular RAV4 SUV is available. Even a little more perplexing as it has even been reported on some electric car forums (www.myrav4ev.com) that potential buyers have said dealer salesman even attempted to steer them away from even buying the RAV4 EV!

This may seem illogical until one understands that Toyota (not unlike most corporations) does most everything based on profit. It is well documented by films such as Who Killed the Electric Car etc that EVs typically require far less ongoing maintenance, service and consumable parts compared to vehicles powered by fossil fuel. Those ongoing costs for the vehicle owner add more profit to Toyota s bottom line by selling parts.

The service departments of Toyota s network of dealerships also drool just a little bit with every ICE equipped vehicle sold.

Toyota has also invested billions of dollars in their hybrid drive train and want to realize the largest possible return on that investment. Promoting EVs will not make maximize that profit. What makes more sense for Toyota shareholders is to have the largest number of people migrate to hybrid cars, while they slowly develop hydrogen power.

Totota is really only making the RAV4 EV for the California market and only wishes to sell the bare minimum number of units needed to meet their ZEV credit requirements, which they can make by also selling a combination of plug-in hybrids and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

RAV4 EV Photo Gallery

Toyota Rav4 EV Specs:

Price: $49,800 (but also qualifies for $7,500 Federal tax credit and $2,500 State rebate). Toyota started offering 10,000 off in Southern California and 8,800 off in Northern California along with 0% financing. Some dealers are also offering a few thousand off, which brings the price down to about $30,000.

Toyota RAV4 EV

Of interest the Tesla Model S is $60-110,000 and is sold out through the first quarter of 2014, so buying the Toyota Rav4 EV gives you access to Tesla Technology early and at discount.

Range: 125 miles per charge

0-60 mph: under 7 seconds in Sport mode, which is faster than V6-equipped RAV4 or 8.6 seconds (Standard mode)

Top speed: 100 mph in Sport mode, 85 mph (Standard mode)

800 pounds of battery are located in the floor of the SUV, the lower center of gravity increases handling performance and safety over the ICE versions.


The Toyota RAV4 EV qualifies for California s white sticker program, that allowing even a single occupant to drive in HOV lanes.

2013 Toyota RAV4 EV Demonstration

The Bottom line: The Toyota RAV4 EV uses a Tesla Motors Model S drive train and batteries but Toyota is only trying to sell the minimum number to satisfy state ZEV mandates. Buying one may be the best way to purchase an EV that features Tesla Model S technology at a discount.

Ken Burridge drives a Nissan LEAF in Melbourne Australia

Toyota RAV4 EV
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Toyota RAV4 EV
Toyota RAV4 EV
Toyota RAV4 EV
Toyota RAV4 EV

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