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Toyota RAV4 EV Has Compatibility Issues

The Toyota RAV4 EV is an amazing electric SUV but it has been frustrating a few users. So what is the compatibility problem we are hearing about?

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Level 2 is Level 2, a standardized 240V charging system that talks to the car, gets a reading on the sate of the battery pack and send the right amount of current and voltage so that the electric vehicle, EV recharges. Well, that’s in a perfect world and glitches do happen. The problem is that those who dished out $50,000 for a kick-bottom electric SUV don’t want to run into.

Does Toyota Have a Compliance Problem? Naysayers will call it yet another reason why the RAV4 EV is just a compliance car to meet California’s stringent business rules, but we can also see it as a darn good job turning an SUV into a great SUV. So what’s the problem specifically? A few days ago, a few stories surfaced on how some owners of the brand new 2012 RAV4 EV have a "Check EV System" warning after trying to charge it at a public charging station. The problem is that once this warning appears, the vehicle will not let you charge. To be fair, Toyota has been quick to get on the ball and says it is looking into it.

This could be just a small blemish on Toyota’s record sales we reported in our earlier article; October Best Months for Electric Car Sales, something Toyota has had to deal with for the pas year with previous models. In Toyota’s defense, the company has always been fairly quick to act, at least after the first few incidents. But this understandably a considerable annoyance for someone dishing out $50,000. With 108 sales so far of the RAV4 EV, 48 of which were in October, Toyota’s 2,600 RAV4 EV over the next three years needs to be spotless.

EVs Can Do It. If electric cars can fulfill the daily routine drives of 80% of the US average commute, carmakers need to make sure the electric cars they sale are reliable. So far, the last Consumer Report suggests hybrid, plug-in hybrid, PHEV and electric car owners have had nothing but high praises for the alternative energy drives. See our; Consumer Reports Says Electric and Hybrids Have High Reliability.

Chargers That Work With The RAV4 EV. Despite the problems, some chargers do work with the Toyota RAV4 EV. According to Toyota they are the Leviton, which is the exclusive EVSE supplier for the RAV4 EV and approved at up to 16 amp, 30 amp and 40 amp charging stations, as well as the Aerovironment Level 2 EVSE-RS, the Blink/Ecotality Level 2 Charge Station, the ChargePoint/Coulomb Technologies CT2000 Series, the Clipper Creek CS Series, the Eaton EV Charging Station, both residential and the commercial Pow-R-Station, the Schneider Electric EVLink Indoor Charging Station EV2430WS.

Toyota has been quick to answer the concerns of its new clientele. It says it will test each additional charging stations to see if any of those units have problems with the Toyota RAV4 EV.

Update: Toyota and Tesla may collaborate to bring back an electric affordable SUV like the RAV4 EV.

Nicolas Zart covers electric vehicle news at Torque News and can be followed on Twitter for new updates on EVs.

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Tony Williams (not verified)    November 7, 2012 - 3:47PM

My new Rav4 EV won't work with my Nissan / Panasonic portable EVSE that came with the LEAF.

gimmieabreak (not verified)    November 13, 2013 - 11:36PM

In reply to by Nicolas Zart

Listen, there are a limited number of EVSE's out there for sale. To think that Toyota is relying on their 100 or so buyers of this vehicle to let them know which ones don't work is absurd. This is called Quality Control, and it is not the consumer's (who spent 50k) responsibility period. Sure feedback is good, but the notion that they didn't know about this is ridiculous.