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Toyota introduces new RAV4 EV; 41.8 kWh pack, 100-mile range

RAV4 EV. Click to enlarge.

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. revealed the all-new Toyota RAV4 EV at the 26th annual Electric Vehicle Symposium (EVS26) in Los Angeles. The battery-electric SUV features a 41.8 kWh Li-ion pack, offering an expected driving range rating of approximately 100 miles (161 km). With a 10 kW charger on-board (SAE J1772 connector), charging time of the large pack is approximately six hours on a 240V/40A charger.

The RAV4 EV will go on sale in late summer 2012 through select dealers, initially in four major California metropolitan markets including Sacramento, San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles/Orange County and San Diego, with an MSRP of the RAV4 is $49,800. Sales volume is planned for approximately 2,600 units over the next three years. The battery warranty is 8 years or 100,000 miles.

The RAV4 EV’s driving performance, dynamics and cargo capacity are equal to or exceed the gas powered RAV4 V6, according to Toyota. The RAV4 EV—22 months in development—combines a Tesla Motors-designed and -produced battery and electric powertrain with Toyota’s most popular SUV model.

The front wheel drive RAV4 EV allows drivers to select from two distinctly different drive modes, Sport and Normal. In Sport mode, the vehicle reaches 0-60 mph in 7.0 seconds and has a maximum speed of 100 mph. Normal mode achieves 0-60 mph in 8.6 seconds with a maximum speed of 85 mph.

The powertrain features a 115 kW (154 hp) AC induction motor with fixed-gear open-differential transaxle, with a gear ratio of 9.73. Torque for Normal and Sport modes is 218 lb-ft (296 N·m) and 273 lb-ft (370 N·m), respectively. Maximum output from the electric powertrain is 154 hp (115kW) @ 2,800 rpm.

Curb weight of the vehicle is 4,032 lbs (1,829 kg)—470 lbs (213 kg) more than the RAV4 V6.

RAV4 EV offers a smooth, quiet ride and comfortable handling due in part to its low coefficient of drag and low center of gravity. At 0.30 Cd, RAV4 EV achieves the lowest coefficient of drag of any SUV in the world, according to Toyota. Compared with the gasoline-powered RAV4, Toyota re-styled the front bumper, upper and lower grill, side mirrors, rear spoiler, and under body design to maximize air flow around the vehicle. The RAV4 EV’s battery pack is mounted low and to the center of the vehicle, contributing to a more sedan-like ride.

The vehicle will be available later this year. Toyota’s approved electric vehicle supplier equipment provider is Leviton. Leviton offers multiple options for charging solutions. For the shortest charge time of approximately six hours, Leviton offers a custom 240V (Level 2), 40A, 9.6 kW output charging station. The vehicle comes equipped with a 120V (Level 1) emergency charging cable for instances when the recommended 240V (Level 2) charging is not available.

We believe that the RAV4 EV will attract sophisticated early technology adopters, much like the first-generation Prius. It’s designed for consumers who prioritize the environment and appreciate performance. We look forward to seeing how the market responds.

—Bob Carter, TMS group vice president and general manager of the Toyota division


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I like it. Given the BEV RAV4’s history and the fact that only 2600 units will be made it could become a collector’s item. The 50k USD is also a very reasonable price. It will be made at a big loss for Toyota but they get the usage data early on that they need to develop their own mass produced large BEVs. They also get a chance to test Tesla’s technology so that they know better whether Toyota should make a production deal with Tesla supplying motors for Toyotas future high end BEVs.


That's a real positive comment Henrik; however, This BEV was only build to satisfy the Zero Emissions requirement of California, not as an all states car.

The car is too expensive, too heavy, and too short a range; and, as a result not suited for service in today's world. Please note that Tesla builds a much better car for around the same price, only the Model X has the range necessary to fit the market for an every day car.

Toyota is selling Prii like ice cubes in hell, why would they not continue selling ICE cars with electric boost?


When GM betrayed society by giving an oil company EV NiMH patents, Toyota was fined $32 million and forced to kill the EV RAV4 and NiMH EV-95 battery assembly lines.

Toyota poked GM in the eye by selling 2002 EV RAV4s, which are still running today.

The Toyota Prius family may finish off GM again, but the EV RAV4 has a special place in the Toyota heart.


More than ten years of advances and the new EV RAV4 is more of a brick than ever (a gold plated brick, though).

Don't you sometimes wonder; maybe GM was NOT really 15 years ahead of everyone else back then ?

But we know they were, why else would they crush their EVs and claim they were a legal liability and not marketable?

And now Toyota does NOT WANT EVs to succeed.
Why else would they make such a heavy, expensive vehicle?

I will rush out and buy one of these before the Hollywood freaks buy all 900 of them.

I can drive out into the countryside, camp and and come back tomorrow.

- well, part way back. Bring your smoke grenades.


Sooner or latter, Toyota and others, will learn how to make light weight electrified vehicles instead of trying to electrify heavy ICEVs.

Why do we need a 4000 lbs vehicles to transport (most of the time) only one person? A one or two passenger e-car should not weight more than 1000 to 1500 lbs. A 4-passenger unit should not weight more than 2000 lbs.


2600 a year ? Is this some kind of joke ? 2600 is nothing, and it will have a negligible effect on anything !

The Leaf is expected to be manufactured in hundreds of thousands soon, while Toyota manages to come up with as many as 2600 !


Sorry, I've read it wrong. It's 2600 cars over the next THREE years ! It's really pitiful. I just don't know what to say. The mighty Toyota manages to put together an electric car with the technological help of a market midget Tesla, and now they will be able to make as many as 2600 over the next THREE years. I don't know if I'm supposed to laugh or cry... So, maybe I'll just cry ...


Maybe read Lad's post.

Then cry.

Dave R

It's clear now more than ever, there's there will only be 2 real players in the EV market for the near future: Nissan and Tesla.

Tesla we're all aware of - they are even supplying the drivetrain for the RAV4-EV we see here which is very similar to the drivetrain destined for the Model S and unsurprisingly both the Model S and RAV-EV will hit the market around the same time. The difference being that Tesla plans on selling 2600+ $54-$100k Model S sedans by the end of the year instead of over 3 years.

Nonetheless, Tesla will use the experience to increase revenue while they continue on their master plan of increasing volume, refining their drivetrain and reducing costs for their next generation of EVs.

The other, Nissan: So far Nissan has been crippled by a tsunami, unfavorable exchange rate and a single AESC battery plant running at capacity currently supplying for 4.5 different EVs around the world: LEAF, Fluence ZE, Kangoo EZ, Twizy and very soon the Zoe.

Luckily, Nissan has 2 new battery plants coming online - Sunderland in the UK which has just started trial runs and Smyrma in Tennessee which is right behind so if all goes well Nissan will soon be able to sell a lot more EVs.

Roger Pham

The trend is clear: Batteries will be more and more affordable and will be better and better.
No one cried when big flat-panel TV's were priced at $15,000 a piece (plasma), and later LCD's sold for even higher. Now you can get a plasma TV for ~$1,000 USD, even at much devalued dollars.

What's needed right NOW is a systematic planning for massive installation of renewable energy collectors and infrastructures to combat global warming and the depletion of petroleum AND creating jobs and boosting the economy as well.

Please focus you attention to help making this inevitable step happen before too late! We are quickly running of time with this accelerating rise in the level of CO2. The BEV's will arrive en-masse in the future when they will be able to make the most difference. Right now, with the current mix of fossil-fueled electric generation in the grid, BEV's can't make much of a difference in lowering CO2 emission.


@Roger, you are confusing information processing (like computers, lcd screens etc.) with power electronics.

The information processing part of the world is subject to Moore's law (still). The power electronics part isn't.

Batteries are firmly in the power electronics end and are improving very slowly.
There has been considerable pressure on battery performance, and very little to show for it - apart from research reports.

IMHO, the future is in small battery PHEVs or just HEVs. You get a lot more bang from your KwH in a HEV than a BEV.


'It's clear now more than ever, there's there will only be 2 real players in the EV market for the near future: Nissan and Tesla.'

Er, Mitsubishi?
Their Outlander plug in hybrid SUV is coming this financial year, with an all electric range of 31 miles and great torque and performance.
I'm hoping that they will ve able to do it quite a bit cheaper than the Toyota, in fact I am hoping for a price of around $42-45k depending on specs before tax rebate.

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I may sound optimistic because my expectations for BEVs are substantially below what many green bloggers expect from BEVs in terms of price and range. I also don’t think it is easy to compare Model S with RAW4 as they are different classes of vehicles and Model S at 57.5k USD will not go into production until the end of 2013 (signature models are prioritized) at which time it will probably come as a 2014 model and the price will be adjusted to say 59.9K USD.

I am more in line with mahonj in that battery development takes much more time than many think. Batteries does not develop with the speed of smart phones were there is substantial progress each year. Roughly stated, in the auto industry is takes 5 years to make a 10% improvement but you get some 30% improvement every year with smart phones.

I hope Toyota is at full speed developing a short EV range plug-in version for all of their hybrids as this has potential to sell much better than the more expensive long range EV plug-ins because the price is lower: Volt 40k USD, Prius Plug-in 32K USD. That should not prevent Toyota from introducing a range of BEVs for both small and larger cars. However, even Toyota cannot excel in everything so they need partners such as Tesla to make their high end electric motors.


"Don't you sometimes wonder; maybe GM was NOT really 15 years ahead of everyone else back then ?"


I do wonder what an extra 15 years of on-the-road EV competition and infrastructure would be like. With a 2027 model electric vehicle, perhaps very few would be spewing hot gases.

Of course, one could always use mass transit and the US version of a 'Eurail Pass'.

Oh wait, GM was convicted of killing and crushing that transportation too..


Dave R, good news on the Sunderland plant, I had read they were delaying until 2015 for the next gen Nissan battery chemistry.

Toyota sells the Prius Plug-in in California and that can be used to (partially) fill the BEV mandate, perhaps this is Toyota just throwing some money to Tesla and perhaps buying some well earned expertise for $100 million.

I think this Rav4 EV will sell out instantly to green moms :)


I am still waiting for a reasonably priced vehicle that has a range of 150 miles. need that because of distance to carry out daily business.


Herm, the UK plant is turning out batteries right now, probably for the Renault Zoe/


Tesla has taken over 6500 reservations for Model S requiring a $5k deposit. They have taken 500 reservations for Model X SUV.

20,000 units will be produced per year. 5,000 units will be produced in 2012. American deliveries begin in Summer 2012.
The first 1,200 Model S vehicles delivered in North America will be Signatures. Model S Signature will come with the 85 kWh battery.


Even if they build 2600 units, they will have difficulty to sell those. Bevs are already dying, look at the leaf sales and the retarded commercialisation of the tesla model s and the tesla roadster bev is already stopped difinatelly due to poor sale and high production cost. As the imiev it never sold in sensible quantity. It's just that some manufacturers took the subsidies for a while. The fast charger infrastructure is a complete failure on all accounts. Almost nobody own just a bev and it's just a very small portion of brainwasched political statement that bought a bev while keeping their gasoline car when the bev cannot reach the mileage of the day and it happen frequently with a small range of 50-60 miles for the entire day.


One tires of these rants about poor EV sales when many of the models aren't even available in all US states, if on sale at all yet.

Likely, this mentality could help get us another Mideast war, close the Straits of Hormuz, and close/radiate 20% of world oil shipments.

Then, when US gas hits $8/gallon, as in other parts of the world, we can see if EVs sell.


If EVs would sell here at $8/gal, why don't they sell elsewhere at that price?


A good point Matt.

And the rants are more about how good EVs are because, "just wait in a few years they will really start selling".

We all wish EVs were much better. Wishes are not reality.

And when you find yourself hoping and praying for higher gas prices (or glad EVs don't sell)
stop and find out where the rational people went
and go rejoin them.


@mahonj Roger's right about displays. TV companies tried all kinds of things to improve them, which required lots of research into materials for light emitters like microscopic molybdenum tipped CRTs, AC and DC plasma cells that got burned in, super-twisted nematic liquid crystals in LCDs, electroluminescent materials, micromirror arrays, I have a liquid crystal on silicon display made by JVC.

Computer chips got smaller with lots of research into doping of silicon and shaping electron channels with layers and sandwiched trough structures, all kinds of techniques to improve heat transfer, electron and hole mobility, in MOS and bipolar semiconductor junctions, etc. Similar research is going on now with all kinds of anode and cathode materials and structures, with incremental success here and there, which will bring down the cost and increase energy density for batteries.

Moore's law isn't a physical law. It's the result of how much investment and risk a company wants to put into successive products. The doubling period might be shorter if a few more million engineers and scientists were working together. It might be longer if computers and electronic stuff weren't so popular.


Moore's law is just the result of modern synergistic development that is often generalized over all of science but, in the past, approximately fits the # of transistors that inexpensively fit on an chip; it doubles about every 2 years.

That technology (but not most others, including battery development) might well follow it in the future.

It makes one sound knowledgable to quote it, but it has no relevance in the claim that more money (nor how much) spent on battery development is cost effective.


"Oh wait, GM was convicted of killing and crushing that transportation too.."

Per your own source;
"In 1949, Firestone, Standard oil , Phillips, GM and Mack were convicted of [only] conspiring to monopolize the sale of buses and were acquitted of [only] conspiring to monopolize the ownership of transit companies."

I think it is not unreasonable to argue that streetcars, like the Hummer, passenger trains, carriages, surreys and ocean liners are quaint but may or may not be viable today.

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