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Toyota Introduces Its Third-Generation Electrified RAV4 Crossover For 2020

Toyota's RAV4 EV returns for 2020, this time as a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.

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The 2020 RAV4 lineup will include a plug-in hybrid-electric (PHEV) option. This according to a teaser released by Toyota this week. The full announcement will be in November and will coincide with the Los Angeles Auto Show. Toyota presently sells the RAV4 in conventional and hybrid trims. Along with the Honda CR-V, the RAV4 is the top-selling family vehicle model sold in America. The RAV4 Hybrid AWD is also the top-selling green crossover in America.


This new electrified RAV4 will be the company's third generation of the RAV4 offered with a plug. The RAV4 EV was first introduced in 1997 and sold in limited numbers and in California only (sound familiar?). That generation of the RAV4 used NiMH batteries with cells from Panasonic and had a range of about 100 miles. Toyota had worked with CARB to bring the vehicle to market. EV fans may note that this was prior to the founding of Tesla by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. In fact, the first generation Toyota EV came and went before Tesla ever sold an EV. The timing of the first RAV4 EV coincided with the General Motors EV1 which was produced in 1996 (using related battery technology).
rav4 ev
The second-generation Toyota RAV4 EV was first available in 2012 and, again, limited in number and produced only for the Californian market. This new generation used updated battery technology from Tesla using Panasonic cells.

The new RAV4 PHEV will be the top-trim of the line and will have the most power and best accelleration. Toyota is keeping the specs to itself until November 20th. Expect an all-EV range of between 20 and 50 miles and an efficiency of greater than 75 MPGe. This new electrified EV will likely be the least expensive of the three generations.

Check back with Torque News for more updates on the Toyota RAV4 PHEV as they become available.

Related Story: Honda Drops Specs On 2020 CR-V AWD Hybrid - RAV4 Hybrid Now Has Company

In addition to covering green vehicle topics, John Goreham covers safety, technology, and new vehicle news at Torque News. You can follow John on Twitter at @johngoreham.

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Digitaldoc (not verified)    October 11, 2019 - 11:57AM

While a plugin hybrid RAV4 will give the Honda CR-V Hybrid a run for the money, unfortunately this is not the V-6 or turbo 4 that would please enthusiasts holding onto their older RAV4 V-6's. Too bad Toyota is heading in the non-enthusiast direction.

DeanMcManis (not verified)    October 14, 2019 - 12:54AM

If they make it the most powerful and quickest RAV-4 then they will keep their customers who appreciate the power and economy of their impressive V6 today, and also take a bite out of the potential buyers looking at the Tesla Model Y and the RAV-4 PHEV's new rival the CR-V Hybrid. Honda had test plug-in hybrid Pilots driving around a year ago, but no confirmed model yet to compete against this new RAV-4. Toyota will have the best EV line-up of any of the major automakers because they are offering most of their models now with hybrid versions. The plan is to move the Prius line to BEVs, and even more of their models to being hybrids and PHEVs, Hyundai is probably the next progressive with a wide offering of EVs. In contrast, GM only has their Bolt for now, Ford's PHEVs current are slated to be discontinued, and new models look to be few, and FCA (Chrysler) has nothing but their Pacifica Minivan as an EV across their whole line-up (I don't count mild-EVs), so the near future of domestic EVs looks pretty dim except for Tesla and Rivian.