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Toyota Outlines RAV4 EV Policy


Toyota recently outlined its policy to keep RAV4 EVs in service for as long as they are sustainable. Toyota was preparing in 2005 to crush the remaining RAV4-EVs coming off of lease, but yielded to a campaign launched by DontCrush.Com to keep the EVs on the road. (Earlier post.)

As a full electric zero-emission battery-powered vehicle, the RAV4 EV played an important role in the lineup of Toyota’s environmentally-advanced vehicles. From 1998 to 2003, RAV4 EV served as a rolling laboratory, contributing technologies that have been incorporated into Toyota’s hybrid vehicles which have gained wide accepted by consumers.

When the RAV4-EVs went on sale to the public in 2002, they carried a manufacturers suggested retail price (MSRP) of $42,000. However, a $9,000 incentive from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and a $4,000 IRS credit could bring the price below $30,000.

The RAV4 EV featured advanced nickel-metal hydride batteries, a reliable electric drivetrain, an early form of energy-saving regenerative braking, and a computerized power management system.

In its official statement on the cessation of production of the RAV4-EV, Toyota said:

Toyota believes that in order to have a positive environmental impact, a large number of consumers must embrace the technology. In order for this to happen, the vehicle must meet the lifestyle needs of, and be affordable to, the mass market. Although a significant marketing effort was undertaken for the RAV4-EV, we only sold about 300 vehicles a year.

The company now says that it is committed to keeping environmentally-advanced vehicles on the road as long as they are safe and it is practical to do so.

The RAV4 EV policy includes the following points:

    Toyota RAV4 EV
    Motor Permanent magnet
    Max. Power 50kW / 67 hp (3,100-4,600 rpm)
    Max. torque 190Nm / 140 lb-ft (0-1,500 rpm)
    Battery 288V NiMH
    Recharge time 6 hours
    Battery life 1,200+ Charging cycles
    Max. speed 78 mph (electronically limited)
    Max. range 126 miles (combined EPA)
    85 - 100 miles real world range
  • RAV4 EVs are not being removed from service based solely on age or lease expiration.

  • Retail lessees may renew their leases up to 60 months, then purchase their vehicles, or return them, at their option. Fleet lessees may extend their leases in renewable 12-month terms for as long as they are sustainable.

  • RAV4 EVs that are returned to Toyota and are determined to be supportable and safe to operate are redeployed. They may be leased to a new fleet customer, loaned to community groups, including national and state parks, or placed in the Toyota company fleet.

  • Determination of the usability of returned RAV4 EVs will be based on overall operational condition and exterior and interior condition.

  • RAV4 EVs that are taken out of service are used to ensure a supply of unique electronic used salvaged parts to assist our customers with their long term parts needs. This includes battery packs and modules as well as other high-cost components that are unique to the EV. Toyota has enlisted a third party to administer this long term parts salvage program.

  • After salvaging electronic parts, RAV4 EVs will undergo a thorough recycling process to maximize recovery of materials.



Imagine all the good public relations GM could be getting with their tiny fleet of EVs, too late for that now. I hope Toyota resurrects the idea of the pure EV again once battery technology catches up to our demands in terms of range and recharge time, there's a lot more potential now with higher oil prices than before and people are more familiar with electric drivetrain technology from hybrids. Maybe in 2010?


I want to know when people will realize that EV's are NOT "zero" emissions (electricty takes coal combustion ,read more Carbon, and/or nuclear power to make, it's not emissions free)and what about PZEVs which produce the same emissions as the power plant would generate to produce the same amount of electricty?


Well rfh,
even though, as you say, they aren't pure zero emissions, they could be if they were charged by solar or wind, which is way more than any combustion engine could EVER say. So shut your trap and help us better the environment by supporting EV's.


80% of my electricity comes from hydro sources. The remainder is slowly being partitioned more and more towards wind power. Seems like if I used an EV the only emissions would be those used to originally create it.

What emissions come from nuclear? The emitted radiation from a nuclear facility is less than the background radiation we are hit with all day long (and the effects of radiation on the human body follows an exponential curve where up until a specific point there are absolutely NO effects of radiation exposure...above that level though, it becomes detrimental quite fast). Nuclear waste can be processed...or we can shove it in that mountain in Nevada; no one lives there anyways!!


For every boneheaded move by GM, it seems Toyota is making a smart one.

Maybe we need to ask tradesports to set up a pool so people can bet on when GM files for chapter 11.



Did you even rtfa? Toyota has been crushing the Rav4EV, They only quit crushing them when twisted their arm. Which makes Toyota kinda worse than GM since they have the advantage of hindsight.


yeah, but at least they budged. gm jailed people instead. they also were only recalling the leased ev's if i remember correctly.

Sid Hoffman

GM is not the police, they can't jail people. If you breach a contract, such as keeping posession of a rented car that you're no longer paying for, or a leased car after the lease is up and you're no longer paying for it, that's called stealing. You don't own it, somebody else does and you're refusing to give it back. If GM notified the authorities that they had cars stolen, then perhaps the police decided to enforce the law.


So it's "had people jailed" instead of "jailed people" directly. Farm out the work to the local cops, but it amounts to almost the same thing. Crushing the EV1 was a public relations blunder of the first order, but building them and keeping up a service infrastructure was no doubt costly.

The prospect of negative publicity -- and legal liability -- had an EV1 been in a spectacular fatal crash would have also been daunting. If I recall correctly, the EV1 was designed to an older crashworthiness standard, and was not even up to snuff by the time it was released to market -- GM had to get special waivers to allow them on the road.

In the end, GM should probably have worked through these problems instead of throwing away goodwill. Retake possession of leased units dispered in many markets and only allow motorists in a very restricted geographic to (re)buy them for the long-haul. That way, you only need one service shop in LA and one in San Francisco to handle the entire fleet. Hire a bunch of pricey lawyers to iron out agreements with buyers making it clear to them that the car is designed to an older safety standard and that they are assuming the risks when they re-acquire them for the long haul. Send a note up to their Senators in Washington asking for a little regulatory help to allow the currently installed fleet to remain on the road for the rest of its natural life. Whatever it takes.

While I believe that GM made the wrong choice when it withdrew the EV1 fleet, and getting people thrown in jail was probably a bad thing to do, I don't think the withdrawl of the EV1 was a particularly evil or conspiratorial thing to do.


Strange to hear this in post-Chernobyl world. Radiation effects have very many different implications on human health with quite different triggering mechanism and threshold levels, and it determines probability of health implications, not necessity. It is way more complicated than primitive exponential analogy.

For example, the most dangerous are two human made isotopes: Sr90 and Cs137, with half life of 30 and 29 years (means that half of atoms of any initial quantity undergo radioactive decomposition in 30 and 29 years respectively). They are chemically identical to K and Ca, and first is bio accumulated in bone marrow, second – in bones. Their concentration in bones and bone marrow could be hundreds times higher then in background.. Accumulation through food chain, especially milk and milk products, lead to even higher rate of concentration (naturally occurring trans-uranium radioactive isotopes are generally rejected by human body). Note, then these isotopes are produced in nuclear reactors and at nuclear explosion only, because naturally occurring they disintegrated long time ago. Main health effect is leukemia.



Perhaps you should research the state of the area around Chernobyl. It has recovered quite well and is actually flourishing.


With higher rates of cancer.

Laurynas Sadauskas

Patrick -
The area around Chernobyl is not exactly "flourishing". I strongly suggest you visit this site and see what is actually happening in there.


At the beginning at my career I worked at university envirolab in Ukraine exactly after Chernobyl disaster. I have friends died and have ruined health after they spent couple of months on “clean-up”. It is terrible thing, radiation, and until now millions of people in Ukraine, Belorussia and Russia have impaired health and thousands continue to die prematurely every year from on first glance unrelated causes. Statistical analysis is proving it quite conclusively.

Plants are thousand times more resistant to radiation then humans (animals, if you want). Insects are hundreds times more resistant to radiation then humans. The general rule is that the lower organism is staying on evolution ladder, the higher rate of tissue regeneration it has and hence have higher resistance to radiation. To plants and some lower forms of life like dew worms and spiders no-men 30 km Chernobyl zone is heaven. For animals and people it is hell.

Talk about cockroaches in nuclear reactors…


If you think the nuclear fuel cycle is CO2 free then you *really* need to do some research into

a) where uranium ore comes from
b) the refining
c) the processing
d) the shipping and finally
e) reprocessing.....

And then there's the waste issue and then the whole (as yet unquantifed decomissioning isssues).

NONE of the above are CO2 neutral unless Caterpillar just started making EV mining equipment recently....

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