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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Evolution can be beautiful
By wordsworm on 5/8/2012 2:07:36 AM , Rating: 1
The fact that there's no tail pipe on the rear of that vehicle makes a world of difference between it and its gas guzzling twin.

I wonder how much a replacement battery would be for this vehicle. Electric engines are typically much longer lived than internal combustion engines. Provided you don't bang it around, a vehicle like this could last a life time while diminishing the damage to the environment and saving a lot of money on fuel costs.

RE: Evolution can be beautiful
By 1ceTr0n on 5/8/2012 2:53:32 AM , Rating: 2
And here we go.....

RE: Evolution can be beautiful
By djc208 on 5/8/2012 8:02:41 AM , Rating: 3
True, it probably would last a long time, mainly because all your real mileage would have to be put on the other "regular" car you'd have to own or rent to get anywhere further than the edge of town.

Might want to factor that into your calculations on savings to the environment and fuel.

RE: Evolution can be beautiful
By MrBlastman on 5/8/2012 12:05:49 PM , Rating: 2
It won't last a lifetime and I'll tell you why; my answer might even shock or surprise you. The reason it won't last a lifetime is regulation.


How? How when the trend has been regulation via legislation to support a movement towards these vehicles?

Easy. When enough environmentalists realize they are sucking down toxins in their lattes and smoothies that have sept into the groundwater/atmosphere/pyramid rays from the production and disposal of the batteries, they will subsequently cry/piss/whine about the batteries needing to be more tightly regulated as they are an environmental hazard too!

Thus, the vicious cycle will continue. Your car for life will in the end, only be a simple rental--which will be turned in as soon as current policy expires.

RE: Evolution can be beautiful
By Spuke on 5/8/2012 12:11:32 PM , Rating: 2
Battery packs for EV's are around $14-$15,000. Also, how long would it take to recoup $20,000 in fuel costs (difference in price between this and the gasoline RAV4)? Not worth it to me.

RE: Evolution can be beautiful
By Jeffk464 on 5/8/2012 2:26:13 PM , Rating: 2
especially since the gas version is already fairly cheap to operate. We aren't talking a chevy Tahoe here.

RE: Evolution can be beautiful
By wordsworm on 5/8/2012 7:40:31 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe a mechanic here can comment on the average longevity of a combustion engine vs an electric engine. There are probably a lot more differences between an EV and a GV than a semi-interested lay person (speaking of myself) would be aware of. ie., you don't need a gas tank for an EV. What about drive belts, brakes, etc.? Do regenerative brakes cause less or more wear and tear?

Even with my limited capacity, I can foresee many differences between the two models from a mechanical perspective.

In any case, as an atheist, I'm not counting on Jesus to keep us in a perpetual supply of oil or mitigate the damage that our use of fossil fuels causes.

"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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