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:
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.
|Toyota RAV4 EV|
|Max. Power||50kW / 67 hp (3,100-4,600 rpm)|
|Max. torque||190Nm / 140 lb-ft (0-1,500 rpm)|
|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