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  (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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RE: Poor range
By Jaybus on 5/9/2012 2:20:15 PM , Rating: 2
The 73 mile range of the Leaf is based on the US Environmental Protection Agency range rating of 117 km. It is rated 175 km on the New European Driving Cycle, which is about 109 miles. Apparently, in Europe they believe the typical use scenario is driving mostly downhill at slow speeds. In the real world, even the US EPA's lower rating is overly generous.


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