Toyota RAV4 EV goes on sale in under two weeks, in California
The Toyota RAV4 EV all electric SUV developed in collaboration with Tesla Motors is coming to California in less than two weeks. The second generation RAV4 EV, which was first announced in July 2010 as a joint venture between Toyota and Tesla shortly after Toyota invested in Tesla, has long been expected to begin deliveries this year. It is an electric version of the regular Toyota RAV4 EV, and sports an all electric drive train developed by Tesla Motors.
At the official launch event in May 2012, Toyota promised that RAV4 EV deliveries would begin in late summer 2012. Today, Toyota announced deliveries will begin the week of September 24, 2012 through select California dealers, focusing on major metropolitan markets.
The RAV4 EV has an MSRP of $49,800 and can either be purchased or leased. Special purchase financing of 1.9 percent APR is available for qualified customers, as well as a 36 month lease option at $599 per month with $3,499 drive off. Additionally it is expected to qualify for a $2,500 rebate through the Clean Vehicle Rebate Program in California, and is eligible for the $7,500 Federal Tax Credit for electric vehicles. The company expects to sell 2,600 units of the second generation RAV4 EV through the end of 2014.
As for fuel efficiency, the RAV4 EV has an EPA rated range of 103 miles, 78 city miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe), 74 highway MPGe and 76 combined MPGe.
To achieve this range the RAV4 EV has an extra large battery pack, with 41.8 kilowatt hour capacity. Generally speaking this is the key to long electric vehicle driving range, a large battery pack. However the large battery pack means a long period for full recharge, unless your electric car has a high powered charging unit on-board. And, indeed, the Toyota RAV4 EV has a 40 amp 9.6 kilowatt charging unit, which is much more powerful than chargers on the Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt, Ford Focus Electric, etc. The fastest charge rate of other electric vehicles currently available is the 6.6 kilowatt rate offered by the Coda electric car, and the Ford Focus Electric.
The 40 amp 9.6 kilowatt charge rate means a 6 hour full recharge period. Unfortunately the charging stations in the public often do not support the 40 amp charge rate, and most of the home charging station equipment only supports a 30 amp charge rate. To support the higher charge rate, Toyota has worked with Leviton to develop a 40 amp version of their home charging station. At a public charging station the RAV4 EV will automatically detect and use the rate supported by the charging station.
Last week Toyota posted a YouTube video showing the energy saving features built into the RAV4 EV.