Toyota RAV4 EV Extended Test Drive s Tesla Motors Club Enthusiasts …

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Toyota RAV4 EV

ChrisHenryOC

10-08-2012 at 10:49 PM Views)

This blog appeared in its original form .

I recently cancelled my Model S (with sadness), and began a Quixotic quest to find the EV right for me and my family. (You can more about my cancellation in thread if you’re interested.) As of this quest I started at the available fully EV options out as well as the Chevy Volt. not considering the Prius PHV as the range is an 11 miles in EV mode, and the product to have only been in order to allow owners to get carpool stickers (at least in The primary contenders were the the Volt, and the Focus Electric.

EV, under the hood. The current is out for me due to the charger size and the lack of cooling on the battery. It was however the contender after I had test the three due to the relatively roomy I’m not as concerned with (2008 Prius driver = standards), and the controls interface was intuitive (for me).

Was that I would wait for the to see if Nissan improves the charger and Rumors are strong that the will have increased and there are rumblings that the may get some much needed as well, although that purely be wishful thinking on the of future owners.

The Chevy was essentially ruled out because it be tough for me to do my 42 mile daily in pure EV mode without to use the ICE to extend the range. Also, the interface is just plain and I found it unintuitive, and would not enjoy trying to train driver (my spouse, for example) on how to use all of the

The Focus Electric has probably the controls interface, but the tiny rules it out as my 8 year old son isn’t to get any smaller. It’s also peppy and has good range. I was sad to eliminate this one from the

The problem with all of the above is they are all impressions based on reading and limited test time. I decided that I try and find rentals, if possible, to do of an extended test drive. nearly two weeks of trying to a rental in SoCal, I was starting to get The rental options are pretty if available. I found one place in that would rent a to me for $140/day plus taxes, and the Nissan dealer would me a Leaf for $100/day.

My cheap bone was aching considering these options and on a I called the Toyota dealer my house to see if they had any RAV4’s for test drives. I’m not sure how I made that but that’s what happened.

The replied that they have any for test drives but have one available for rent if like to do that. The rate he over the phone was $35/day for the (they ended up charging me Oh hells yeah!

Sign me up. I to pick it up the following Wednesday and drove it until Friday when I sadly dropped it off at the

I did have a nice start to the the first morning. About 2 after I pulled out from the I saw a guy driving the first Gen RAV4EV in of me on Harbor Blvd in Costa He waved and I gave him a thumbs up.

A start indeed. Old school and new coming together.

Overall, it like a small SUV, no funkiness, other than a to accelerate quickly whenever The ride is a little rougher I’m used to in my Prius, but I liked sitting higher and the exta headroom. In Sport it accelerates like most EVs and that EV grin.

Not to the same as a Model S, but still a nice grin.

My biggest complaint at was about the way the rental vehicle come with the 110V The rep at the dealer said that was because of two reasons: the charger is a dollar item that don’t want to replace, and they are worried someone plug into crummy at home and burn their down. The first reason more plausible, and the second is because I think it shows about charging, breaker etc. Do Toyota’s lawyers we’ve all got 1970’s fuse with copper pennies in them? (not that you can either these days)

I had hoped to use level 2 charging near my house and the use the 110 to trickle over night to take of at-rest time. However, now got to sit at a charging station while the car up. Oh we’ll, cost of doing and being an early adopter I

Rear cargo area the seats folded down additional impressions:

There is no loss of cargo space or space with the EV version of car. The Volt, Leaf, and Electric all take away in order to facilitate the EV components. reduction is most noticeable in the and Focus Electric.


The Rav4, the Tesla Model S, has quite a bit of and passenger space. Of course, not Frunk, but that’s a small to pay. As I noted above, the did not come with any sort of

Not having any sort of charging with the rental at home do range anxiety. Of course, the rate of charge on 110v Toyota web site quotes 44 for a full charge at 12A/120v) also create range in unfamiliar users. That if the 41kWh battery is charged in 44 and gets

100 range, the 110v charge at about 2.2 miles per hour, providing about 22 on an overnight 10 hour charge. not much, but it would decrease the of time a person would waiting at public charging for the vehicle to charge. With the A/C on Eco Low the mileage estimate on a full range-extended) charge drops 92 miles to 72 miles. I’m that the EPA testing had the climate turned off.

Still, miles of range in a given day the climate control turned on is within my parameters. On the last day of the I figured out that the Eco-Low and climate control settings opposite of what I was thinking. out that Eco-High uses the amount of energy, and Eco-Low faster and uses more I guess the nomenclature they going for was the Low and High describe how Eco the is rather than the energy

The center-console controls are taking getting used to. The little button below the display is where I tend to rest my while looking for buttons on the screen and I keep accidentally the home button. The B driving engages the regenerative braking a lot the Model S does. It also more aggressive regen braking than in standard I find myself switching back and forth between and B mode depending on the driving

The gear shifter is right where my right-hand hangs the center arm rest and is easily during driving. The only I’ve had to get used to is the location has from my 2008 Prius, and I reaching for the center dash to gears and bumped the seat button accidentally a couple of Turns out the seat heaters are effective and heat up quickly. I was not to do any testing of the Entune applications or the EV features available for the Prius and the Rav4 EV.

You need to have the app installed on your smartphone and easy to get) as well as an account (free, but needs a VIN to with the account). I felt it be rude to pair the rental up with an account I might so I didn’t try that. The radio happens entirely using the When on the radio screen, you to open another popup to tune or change volume.

clunky. I’ve been since the mid-80’s and I really analog knobs for tuning and control. They are always in the place, and I can reach for them needing to look. It’s much faster to spin the know down than to the volume button on the steering or find the volume setting in the The tuning issue and general are things that could be with a software update, but not going to hold my breath The interior is a problem.

It’s a very light that goes nicely the rest of the interior. However, for my it’s a challenge because, I have a son. He makes As an example, he got a replica jersey of the national soccer (football) with light blue and stripes for Christmas last It was permanently stained in less 24 hours.

Light colored seats will get trashed by my (including me). The good is that most dealers someone who can re-do the interior in pretty quickly and not too expensively. much prefer Toyota leather standard, or at least as an but they don’t.

Probably the thinking that went the Leaf’s recycled interior. however, should be standard on a car costs $50k. Seriously. the Rav4 has a 41kWh battery, you serious juice in order to it.

The standard 220 volt, 30 amp chargers take 8 hours for a full Toyota has selected Leviton to a 220 volt, 40 amp charger that a full charge in 5-6 hours. I briefly with a Leviton rep on the who told me that they do not the 40 amp charger as a standalone purchase, and that it be installed by them, but the 30 amp can be purchased by itself. I wonder if I adapt Tesla’s

0 to 50 acceleration. image to see video.

Toyota RAV4 EV

I turned in the on Friday afternoon and was sad to see it go. I had a blast it, and getting back into my 08 was a let down. I’ve always that my Prius was roomy but after driving the bigger car Wednesday, the Prius definitely small inside.

The sense of was also heightened when I at my gas gauge and had to spend nearly $50 up the gas tank after dropping off the

Here are a couple of questions to the original thread that be interesting to other readers:

wrote: Thanks for all the details and Chris! How much coaching was or offered when you picked up the for rental? Agree that not any EVSE included means out on one of the big EV advantages — filling up parked at home.

There was some coaching on the of the screens, but not a lot. The sales rep had a course on the car and had previously test-driven That said, he is very an ICE guy that is working to be more with EVs, and there areas that I was already informed than him. isn’t a knock on him, but test-driven a Model S, a Nissan a Chevy Volt, and the Focus as well as obsessing about EVs in for a while now. There are a of little detail questions like to get some answers to, but knowledgable people at the local has been a challenge.

As an example, a rep at the Huntington Beach Toyota told me that she didn’t the Rav4EV would be for sale in

jcstp wrote: Thanks for all details! What is your Is it a buy, a lease or not considering for

For me, it’s a buy, not a lease. hoping that this is a that lasts for many and an outright purchase makes a lot sense for me. With my Model S the sale of my wife’s 2005 some other savings, and the tax I’m hoping to only end up about 23k on long term (I understand that I won’t get the credit until I file my taxes). Talked to the wife and she’s on board with the as well.

I think we might be ahead here!

Ampster I am a newby here, but I drove a EV at the Alt Car Expo in Santa Monica I attended with a friend. My went to the nearest dealer in the of our test drive and put a deposit on It took me a couple days to get the fever. The RAV4 EV did rock my I had just completed the conversion of a VW Super Beetle and was figuring I needed my existing ICE SUV for the occasional day that I take that are 100 miles.

The RAV4 EV caused me to that assumption. I also put a down a few days later and to get one before year end so I can take of the tax credit.

My friend and I both have panels on our roofs so our incremental costs are zero. I love the of driving my Super Beetle and the torque I feel when I away from a signal or sign. I live in a small town in Southern California and are several free parking stations that I have not for range extension, but for the free which is always a rare in my little town.

I think the EV will be the perfect complement to my EV and I am excited about the idea of not dependent on gasoline for locomotion.

If you around, there are dealerships have them in stock now. No need to go onto a list. I got an email from the Toyota dealership and they one of the blue ones in stock for

Please don’t take my issues listed above to that I’m not happy this vehicle. In a lot of ways, a 2.0 product, and shows that in of the choices Toyota made. As people know, version 3 is where you start seeing the advances.

That said, I this car could easily be a year car for my family, especially aftermarket leather installed in the I’m calling Leviton week to get an assessment done for a charger at home, and if all goes hope to be driving around electric in the next 30 days.

Now I need to see about a vanity plate. Wonder if there’s good left.

Full of photos here.

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

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