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Toyota Exceeds First-Year RAV4 Prime Deliveries by 400% - Beats ID.4 and Mustang Mach-E

Toyota expected to deliver 5,000 RAV4 Primes in it first model year. It has delivered just under 20,000.

Toyota has exceeded the projected American-market delivery rate of the RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle by roughly four times its projections. RAV4 Prime sales started on July 27th, 2020 as a 2021 model-year vehicle. This is typical for automakers. Models that launch in the second half of a calendar year are normally called the model year to come. We expect that Toyota will soon switch the RAV4 Prime to a 2022 model year vehicle. The new switch to the 2022 model year will occur in the coming month or two unless there are simply no vehicles to ship due to industry-wide parts shortages.

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RAV4 Prime & Vehicle Shortages
So far, shortages have not reduced the RAV4 Prime’s U.S. deliveries. In the past quarter, Toyota delivered 3,100 RAV4 Primes, thus averaging about 1,000 units per month. Year to date for 2021, Toyota has delivered an impressive 19,966 RAV4 Primes in the United States.

Vehicle delivery chart for Q3 2021 courtesy of ToyotaElektrek Called Toyota RAV4 Prime Plan "Laughable" in 2020
On Jun. 30th, 2020, Bradley Berman writing for Elektrek, called Toyota’s projected 5,000 units for its first model year “Laughable.” Perhaps this was the story that prompted Toyota to do better, and deliver 4X its plan? In the story, Berman quoted Toyota as saying, “We anticipate the first model-year would be about 5,000 – and year 2 forward would be about 20,000.” Despite the publication finding this laughable, the RAV4 Prime had a launch with more deliveries in its first 90 days than nearly every prior EV from every manufacturer.

Are RAV4 Primes In Stock Anywhere?
Finding a RAV4 Prime in stock for immediate delivery isn’t easy in some parts of America. This is true for two reasons. First, finding any vehicle is difficult these days. The Tesla Model Y’s ordering page on Tesla’s website is presently quoting an April delivery time frame. Second, Toyota’s shipments to dealers are not uniform. Some states and some regions get more EV inventory than others. This is true of every manufacturer.

Although vehicle shortages are now ubiquitous, finding a Toyota RAV4 Prime in stock isn’t difficult if you live in a ZEV state (One that supports EV adoption). We searched two dealers in our area, Massachusetts. One a few miles from my home, Woburn Toyota, shows two RAV4 Primes in stock. A larger dealer, Boch Toyota in Dedham on the Automile, shows two in stock as well. The inventory is a mix of both the SE and XSE trims.

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RAV4 Prime and RAV4 Hybrid vs. Ford Mustang Mach-E and VW ID.4 vs. Tesla Model Y
Year to date, the RAV4 Prime has outdelivered the Ford Mustang Mach-E and trounced the Volkswagen ID.4 by about two to one. This is because the ID.4 started its deliveries later than expected in the middle of this year. Expect VW's ID.4 rate to overtake the RAV4 Prime heading into 2022. Tesla has not released its delivery by model or by market in the past, so we don't know how many Model Y vehicles the company delivered this year in the U.S. One interesting fact is that Toyota is the clear leader in green crossover sales. The RAV4 Hybrid and RAV4 Prime combined have already totaled over 100,000 units delivered in the U.S. market this year through the first three quarters.

As Toyota transitions to the 2022 model year, we will continue to watch the progress of Toyota’s third-generation electrified RAV4 and see if its delivery rate can ever catch up to its consumer demand. If the RAV4 Prime acts like any of the other popular EV crossovers on the market, Mustang Mach-E, Volkswagen ID.4, or Tesla Model Y, it is unlikely to linger on dealer lots any time in the near future.

Toyota RAV4 Prime image courtesy of Kate Silbaugh

John Goreham is a long-time New England Motor Press Association member and recovering engineer. John's interest in EVs goes back to 1990 when he designed the thermal control system for an EV battery as part of an academic team. After earning his mechanical engineering degree, John completed a marketing program at Northeastern University and worked with automotive component manufacturers, in the semiconductor industry, and in biotech. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American news outlets and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on TikTok @ToknCars, on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin

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DeanMcManis (not verified)    October 5, 2021 - 1:57PM

Toyota will sell as many RAV4 Primes as they decide to build. Especially in today's eager market with low vehicle supply and spiking gas prices. They would even outsell their own RAV4 hybrid (and CRV hybrid) if they only dropped the price to the same profit margin that the Prius Prime has over the regular Prius.