Toyota adding thousands to deals to move slow-selling RAV 4 EV
Toyota is having trouble moving the California-only RAV 4 EV crossover and to move them is offering an incredible discount on leases. Toyota has to sell all the RAV 4 EVs it makes as part of its compliance with the California Air Resources Board mandates, so it will stop at nothing to move the unpopular electric conversions.
We noticed the RAV 4 EVs troubles first while reviewing the monthly sales figures Toyota publishes. More specifically, we noticed that it does not even appear on that publication. We like Inside EVs’ monthly EV tally and that publication shows that the RAV 4 EV sells in number of less than 100 per month. Some months the number is way less.
According to John Voelcker’s scoop in Green Car Reports, Toyota is not able to keep up with its target to move the RAV 4 EV and is therefore offering to subsidize leases by adding an allowance of up to $16,500. Add that to California’s rebate of $2,500 and the federal government’s $7,500 tax rebate and customers are ending up with lease payments in the neighborhood of just under $500 per month. Not bad for a car with a sticker price of $50K. This subsidizing of EV leases is something we reported in our recent story explaining why EVs have the lowest resale value of all vehicles.
The problem is not the RAV 4. The old and new RAV 4 are runaway hits. The EV version is built off the old RAV 4 platform with battery and drive components from the world’s top EV maker, Tesla Motors. Despite this excellent pedigree, customers in California, the only market that the vehicle is offered, don’t want it.
Those considering leasing one and then living outside California may want to think again. Plug-In Cars reports that customers are having a lot of trouble having the vehicles serviced. Again, more evidence counter to the myth that EVs require no service.
Apparently the type and design of EVs matters. Tesla has a waiting list of up to 6 months for US orders of its Model S and the Nissan Leaf’s sales are now again on the upswing. The Toyota Prius Plug-in is also a solid sales performer, selling at about double the rate of the popular Mazda Miata and close to the same rate as the Scion FR-S.