Print 63 comment(s) - last by Jedi2155.. on May 15 at 8:39 AM

  (Source: Toyota)
EV is more than twice the base price of a conventional RAV4, has 100-mile range

Toyota and Tesla have been talking about production plans for an electric version of the popular RAV4 crossover utility vehicle for nearly two years. Back in July 2010, Toyota and Tesla said that a production version of the EV would hit American streets in 2012.
True to their word, the pair officially unveiled the RAV4 EV at the 26th annual Electric Vehicle Symposium in Los Angeles, California. For those that were looking for the EV to be based on an all-new RAV4 platform, you'll be disappointed. The vehicle still appears to be largely based on the third-generation RAV4 that was introduced way back in 2005 and is long overdue for a redesign.

Stylistically, the RAV4 EV shares much with its gasoline counterpart in the way of exterior body panels. Key differences can be found up front with a redesigned bumper/grille and headlights (LED + halogen) along with clear taillight coverings out back. The center stack on the dashboard has been redesigned to incorporate automatic climate control and a large touch screen, but is otherwise familiar to current RAV4 owners.

The big changes, however, are beneath the bodywork. In place of a 4- or 6-cylinder gasoline engine is a Tesla-designed 154hp (115kW) electric motor that drives the front wheels. In normal mode, the RAV4 EV can hit 60 mph in 8.6 seconds. Switching to Sport mode cuts that time down to 7 seconds. Top speed is listed at a just 80 mph, which means that you won't be hogging the left lane on most interstates in the U.S. The maximum driving range is listed at 100 miles.

Toyota has partnered with Leviton to provide charging solutions for the RAV4 EV. Toyota says that the lithium-ion battery pack can be recharged in six hours with a Leviton 240V (Level 2), 40A, 9.6kW charging station. The vehicle also includes a 120V (Level 1) emergency charging cable when the driver doesn't have access to a Level 2 charger -- just expect to wait around a lot longer while the battery recharges.
For those keeping score, the battery warranty for the RAV4 EV is 8 years or 100,000 miles.
Toyota says that the RAV4 EV will go on sale this summer in select markets (Sacramento, San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles/Orange County and San Diego). There are no further details on if and when the vehicle will enter wider availability in the U.S.

For those that do choose a RAV4 EV, the price of entry will be a lofty $49,800 (since Toyota didn't make specific mention of it, we're assuming that this price is before the $7,500 federal tax credit for EVs and before any applicable state credits/rebates). For comparison, a base RAV4 (gasoline engine) with front-wheel drive rings in at a "modest" $22,650.

Source: Toyota

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For that price increase...
By 1ceTr0n on 5/7/2012 7:55:32 PM , Rating: 2
Could you buy alot of gas vs the standard model.

RE: For that price increase...
By 1ceTr0n on 5/7/12, Rating: -1
RE: For that price increase...
By WalksTheWalk on 5/8/2012 10:43:30 AM , Rating: 4
You're right. The price of this EV RAV4 is laughable when you base it mostly economic principles.

RE: For that price increase...
By kattanna on 5/8/12, Rating: 0
RE: For that price increase...
By Jedi2155 on 5/9/2012 12:54:04 AM , Rating: 1
Why would you buy any car more than $15,000? If it all gets you from point A to point B (reliably), you simply find the lowest cost option possible.

When you pay anymore than that, you are paying extra for an emotional response. High efficiency, national security, and all those reasons, while having some good points behind it, will barely affect you as a single individual buying a single vehicle. However it allows you to feel like you're a part of something bigger thus the emotional response.

The same argument can be said for luxury cars and sports cars. Except the emotional response is directed towards fulfilling your inner desires to have fun, while greenies, full fill our desire to support the greater good.

In both cases, they are emotional so I would argue that spending $40,000+ on a BMW/Mercedes is anything but logical if you get right down to it.

RE: For that price increase...
By DukeN on 5/9/2012 10:06:14 AM , Rating: 2

Someone buying a hybrid/EV for 'feeling good' is just as relevant as someone buying an Audi/Porsche for the speed.

RE: For that price increase...
By Spuke on 5/9/12, Rating: 0
RE: For that price increase...
By Jedi2155 on 5/10/2012 2:48:56 AM , Rating: 2
Well, I have a plan to try to eventually make green technology mainstream, but the most important first step is to get the early adopters on board.

I think we are all in agreement that green technology is currently very expensive relatively, and still inaccessible to the masses. While I hope that with enough R&D, we may eventually reach that mass market appeal to maybe 5-10% of the US market within 10 years.

I think the only real problems with EV technology are the following:

1. Cost - They have not yet reached mass market prices without significant government subsidies with the latter part being the primary hatred on this board towards green technology in general. I would argue that green technology is spending towards national defense but that's another topic....

Still there is many within the EV industry with a plan to reduce this cost over the next decade (cheaper batteries primary).

2. Consumer Acceptance - The everyday Joe who normally goes into a dealer simply don't understand EV's or cars like the Volt as a result, they tend to buy things they already know and trust.

Most dealers don't understand how to sell the cars either, as a result using them simply has Halo cars to steer them elsewhere. But the dealers who KNOW how to sell them are certainly able to. One dealer in Michigan is able to sell 25 Volt's/Month....half of whom did not come in planning to buy one in the first place. That's the kicker. To give perspective of how many that is , there are about 4500 Chevy dealers in the US, if just each of them sold 3 per month, you would have a car that outsells both the Mustang and Camaro combined.

Educating the masses will take time as most only read headlines (EV catches on fires OMG!)...and word of mouth so as more and more people own them. Unfortunately due to the high entry cost, this will take a while for the grass roots movement grow, but the numbers are steadily growing. There are currently about 30-40,000 EV owners in the US most of whom love the technology and bring word of mouth recommendations.

3. Unknown Reliability - - While hybrid's are finally accepted, full EV's with lithium batteries are a relative unknown. Consumers are afraid of new technology, so it will take a few years for the technology to be proven before the masses will flock to it. This is where the early adopters (my part) come in to prove that the technology is viable now. We will all find out in a few years whether or not the technology is successful.

Although there already are a number of Toyota RAV4 EVs built over 12 years ago with NiMH batteries are still running strong to this day some numbering over 200,000 miles). I unfortunately do not have the same faith in the Leaf air cooled battery systems. I do however have greater faith in the reliability of the water cooled systems in the Tesla/GM/Ford systems. I think Fisker is just a crapshoot with poor quality control, who got way over their heads while chasing government money - the majority of the green tech firms IMO which resulted in the bubble.

Just my current opinion.

RE: For that price increase...
By JKflipflop98 on 5/13/2012 1:03:28 PM , Rating: 2
I disagree. I'm certainly no hippie, but I do see the value in not mucking up our world any more than we have to. No reason to turn the whole planet into a dump.

That being said, I'm not going to be buying a RAV4 anytime soon. Much less a $50K one.

RE: For that price increase...
By Jedi2155 on 5/15/2012 8:39:24 AM , Rating: 2
Neither would I, which is why Toyota probably realized there would only be about 2600 suckers who would.

RE: For that price increase...
By sigmatau on 5/8/2012 12:32:49 PM , Rating: 3
STFU troll.

RE: For that price increase...
By Reclaimer77 on 5/7/12, Rating: 0
RE: For that price increase...
By Spuke on 5/7/2012 10:54:00 PM , Rating: 2
What's STILL hilarious is that NONE of these clowns will buy one (until they make one for $20k HA!) but are MORE than happy to tell those that can afford one that it's our only choice in vehicles.

RE: For that price increase...
By Jedi2155 on 5/8/2012 2:21:42 AM , Rating: 4
What are you talking bought, I'm loving my Volt.

RE: For that price increase...
By Dr of crap on 5/8/12, Rating: 0
RE: For that price increase...
By Spuke on 5/8/2012 11:45:41 AM , Rating: 2
What are you talking bought, I'm loving my Volt.
Read my post again. BTW, we have actually considered the Volt but doesn't make sense considering my wifes (car is for her) choices:

1. BMW 135i or 335i
2. BMW X1 sDrive35i (not yet released)
3. Lincoln MKX
4. Infiniti G37
5. Infiniti EX35

The Volt just doesn't provide enough luxury/sportiness for that price. We DO understand that battery packs are expensive. We're just not willing to pay the premium for one (especially when it only gets 40 mpg on the gas engine). In all honesty, if it got 50 mpg on the engine with a bit more power and comparable handling, we would seriously consider one.

RE: For that price increase...
By Jeffk464 on 5/8/2012 2:23:30 PM , Rating: 2
Go with the BMW 328i, you get high performance luxury and still get good mileage. Its a no brainer, of course the infinity is probably a little more reliable.

RE: For that price increase...
By Spuke on 5/8/2012 3:11:03 PM , Rating: 2
328i would be fine BUT I don't want a first year engine (new 2L turbo) and we're going back to leasing (hence new car...used car would bump the cost per mile actually). She's currently driving a diesel pickup so literally anything will get better gas mileage. As long as she gets mid 20's, we'll be in the black (IOW, the car will make us a little money over the truck).

RE: For that price increase...
By Spuke on 5/8/2012 3:17:33 PM , Rating: 2
Honestly, the Lincoln is number one choice so far. Reliability on Lincoln's is better than all the cars on that list. It drives awesome (surprised the crap out of me frankly...we drove it and the Edge on two different occasions) and gets comparable fuel economy. When the X1 is available, we'll try that one out too. Believe it or not, that list has been narrowed down significantly. LOL! It was MUCH longer before.

RE: For that price increase...
By Jeffk464 on 5/8/2012 8:25:20 PM , Rating: 2
Another one to look at my be the 2013 Cadillac ATS. It was designed to be a direct competitor to the 3 series. Can't say about reliability but the early reviews were positive.

RE: For that price increase...
By Spuke on 5/8/2012 8:49:43 PM , Rating: 2
Another one to look at my be the 2013 Cadillac ATS.
Definitely check that one out too.

RE: For that price increase...
By Keeir on 5/8/2012 5:09:43 PM , Rating: 2
Over 100,000 miles, Purchase Price + Fuel only. Fuel at ~4 Dollars a gaollon.

1. 55,000-70,000 depending on options
2. Unknown
3. 60,000-70,000 depending on options
4. 55,000-65,000
5. 60,000-70,000

Err... the Volt over 100,000 miles? ~50,000-55,000 pre government rebate. 45,000-50,000 post.

The Volt is -significantly- cheaper than those cars. Now I am not saying the Volt is the right car, but you aren't comparing apples to oranges here at all. Given your other choices on the list, your more a Model S customer level. A 50,000-60,000 Model S is more in line in terms of price, even in California, with your choices.

RE: For that price increase...
By Spuke on 5/8/2012 5:26:05 PM , Rating: 2
I said,
The Volt just doesn't provide enough luxury/sportiness for that price.

Where did I mention economics?

Some corrections though:

1. 135i starts at $39k, 335i at $42k..both can be had for $45k nicely equipped. Even a loaded 335i is no where near $70k, not sure where you got that from. M3 maybe?
2. X1 starts at $31k for the turbo 4 and $39k for the 6. Don't know about options. It's on the 3 series platform so options should be like the 3.
3. Starts at $39k, we're looking at $45k again very nicely equipped in this case.
4. Under $45k
5. This one is closer to $50k, pretty pricey compared to competition. Nice car though.

RE: For that price increase...
By Keeir on 5/9/2012 2:56:02 PM , Rating: 2
Spuke, I said over 100,000 miles.

Unless something strange happens, Gasoline isn't going to be less than 4 dollars over the next 5-7 years. I'm even spoting you some dollars since premium gasoline is 4+ today

Project cost of Fueling for 100,000 miles

1. ~17,000-20,000
2. ~17,000-20,000
3. ~18,000-21,000
4. ~17,000-19,000
5. ~18,000-21,000

I notice elsewhere you mentioned leasing. Lets compare (from Manufactures websites)

Volt: 349 per month/36 months/~2,500 due at signing --> 15064
335i: 459 per month/36 months/~4,200 due at signing --> 20724

Assuming 30,000 miles traveled, fuel cost for the Volt ~2000. For the 335i ~5000.

End expected Lease Cost
Volt: 17,500
335i: 26,000
Increase: 45-50% more!

Which is what my point is... if you make a list that includes the 135i or the 335i as options, then the Volt -can't- make the list even as an option because it clearly not going to perform as well, it just cost too much less. Heck, a fricken Versa Sedan over a 36 month 30,000 lease is cost ~13,500. The Volt's lease is closer to the Versa Sedan in price than the 335i.

And I am not even including the extra 6000 miles the Volt gives you (36 months/36,000 miles versus 36 months/30,000 miles).

RE: For that price increase...
By DukeN on 5/9/2012 10:08:30 AM , Rating: 2
Check out the Lincoln MKZ hybrid.

IIRC it's basically an EV for speeds under 40MPH.

RE: For that price increase...
By Spuke on 5/9/2012 1:50:11 PM , Rating: 2
Check out the Lincoln MKZ hybrid.
If the mileage turns out to be as high as they're expecting, we'll at least give it a test drive.

RE: For that price increase...
By Reclaimer77 on 5/8/2012 5:19:19 PM , Rating: 1
Do you love it enough to give back your $7,500+, you goddamn leech?

RE: For that price increase...
By Spuke on 5/8/2012 5:31:00 PM , Rating: 2
Do you love it enough to give back your $7,500+, you goddamn leech?
Hopefully he didn't get any of the credit or only part of it.

RE: For that price increase...
By Jedi2155 on 5/8/2012 9:58:25 PM , Rating: 2
I qualify for all of it and more. I pay more than my fair share of taxes.

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