So far the Toyota RAV4 EV has received lukewarm response form the media and electric vehicle, EV potential clients. It’s too bad because the RAV4 EV is a great EV with a healthy dose of Tesla Motors DNA but therein lies the grub. It’s too expensive considering it plays in the same field as Tesla Model S. In other words, why would you buy a $50,000 SUV with less range then the about same price and higher range beautiful Model S?
Toyota Offers Another Incentive. By now you must have heard that Toyota has settled the un-intended accelerator lawsuit to the astronomical sum of over $1 billion. See Anthony’s: Toyota’s $1.1 billion unintended acceleration payout: what it means for owners
for more on the subject. So if you happen to have one of those Toyotas the company will pay you to bring back, could you also add that on top of the Japanese automaker matching the EV Federal incentive rebate? That would be nice.
The Problem With The RAV4 EV. The RAV4 EV is actually a good EV. It only has one problem. Toyota doesn’t seem 100% committed to it and has repeated over and over it feels battery technology and user demand isn’t there. It is partially right but if the number one automaker sends that message, it’s likely its clientele will not embrace the new technology cheerfully either. $50,000 is also a hefty price tag for an SUV that does handle well but all in all has limited range when you could more with the Tesla Model S. This could explain why so many blogs call it the C word, California compliant car (CCC). It’s too bad because with its Tesla DNA, my initial test drive was very positive, much more than I felt it would be.
$15,000 Off. It’s hard to not find the timing of this rebate, essentially another $7,500 if you buy the RAV$ EV and trade in your old Toyota coming in at the heel of Toyota’s monumental fine, $1.1 Billion. Whether or not it is, it shows one thing, Toyota understands it didn’t price it well at all and it needs to review its EV strategy.
So how does it work? Basically, Toyota dealers in California, remember it’s only available there, will give you $5,000 cash back when you purchase it. But wait, there’s more. Dealers will give you another $2,500 in what the company calls its loyalty system when you trade in your other Toyota. Ultimately, that’s $7,500 off plus the $7,500 Federal tax rebate, plus California’s EV incentive rebate $2,500 to drive down that $49,900 to $32,400. Now if you also happen to live in certain parts of California, you can get an additional rebate and the RAV4 EV can be had below $30,000. All the sudden, it becomes a good deal for an EV.
Newer technologies are not money winners for companies in the beginning. It’s as simple as that. Those technologies pay off in the long run and that is a big problem in today’s societies. No one wants to wait 10 to 20 years to see their original plan come to fruition. The gratification has to be instant. But mistakes happen and Toyota knows it needs to bite the bullet. We should give the Toyota credit for owning up to it and bringing the RAV4 EV down to a more manageable price.