Four metro areas of California getting RAV4 EV in September

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The RAV4 EV is arriving at select dealerships in California soon. Photo Credit: Mariordo/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA

Toyota has created an electric vehicle, the electric RAV4 crossover. The RAV4 EV is on sale now, which people rich enough to afford the $50,000-plus price tag in four metropolitan areas of California can now take advantage of.

The RAV4 EV has arrived

A few years ago, a joint project was announced between Tesla Motors and Toyota, that would yield Toyota’s first fully electric car, a battery-powered RAV4, Toyota’s wildly popular crossover SUV. Tesla would develop the power train and Toyota would, naturally, provide the car into which it would be installed. Technically, it’s a sequel, as Toyota made and sold a RAV4 EV about 10 years ago, according to AutoBlog.

The RAV4 EV, according to Businessweek, will be appearing at dealerships within a month. The battery pack, electric motor and other drive train components, according to Inside Line, are from the Tesla Model S. There will be a limited production run of 2,600 during the next three years. Toyota might decide to make more of them if response is strong enough and sell them in the appropriate markets.

Not bad if one can get one

For the moment, according to AutoBlog, the RAV4 EV is going to be available in four major metropolitan areas in California. Residents of Sacramento, San Diego, Los Angles and Orange County, and the Bay Area including San Francisco will be able to get the electric RAV4.

It comes with a 115-kilowatt electric motor, equivalent to about 154 horsepower. The battery pack by Tesla carries 41.8 kilowatt-hours of juice, though electric range varies depending on whether the air conditioning is on and how the car is being driven. Toyota, according to Inside Line, thinks the EPA will estimate the range at 103 miles, but customers could conceivably get up to 120 miles on a charge.

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The electric drive train adds several hundred pounds in weight, according to AutoBlog, but the battery pack being located under the floor lowers the center of gravity and a unique body kit makes it more aerodynamic than the regular model. Charging takes 6 hours on a 40 amp, 240-volt home charging system, but 44 hours using a standard 120-volt socket. A special charging station available from Toyota will set customers back an extra $1,590, including installation.

Great toy for rich people

Just like most other electric vehicles, the 2013 RAV4 EV is a great toy for pretentious rich people who don’t have to drive too far. It’s too expensive and too impractical for the typical person. The car costs $49,800 before tax incentives, which according to Businessweek knock $10,000 off the sticker.

The range is impressive, but the regular RAV4 can just be topped off with gas in minutes and doesn’t cost $40,000. Thus far, the cheapest electric car is the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, which, after tax incentives, comes in at just under $22,000, the closest to an affordable price of any electric car. However, it’s range is a scant 62 miles.



Inside Line


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