Toyota RAV4 EV ready for US debut

Toyota RAV4 EV ready for US debut

I hope this helps to bump the TSLA stock price. Too many shorts out there want this stock to fail. It surely aint Obama's toxic polluting Soyndra.

discoducky | 3 May 2012

I wonder how much TM will be mentioned actually. I doubt that it will be more than a mention, but I hope to be proven wrong.

stephen.kamichik | 3 May 2012

It will state "powered by Tesla" on the instrument panel.

Brian H | 4 May 2012

"Toyota will be hoping this next-generation RAV4 EV proves more successful than its first effort that was produced between 1998-2003, of which only 1484 units were sold or leased in the US."

Interesting number to watch ...

jerry3 | 4 May 2012

If I remember correctly, the reason for the small sales number was because of all the hoops you had to jump through. Individuals were not allowed to lease them, only businesses, and only businesses that met certain qualifications. Individual ownership came later when Toyota sold the vehicles coming off lease.

The EV1 had similar ordering problems.

Brian H | 5 May 2012

EV1 had no ordering, hence no problems. ;) The price would have had to be astronomical to break even for GM. It was a "beta" release in all but name.

stevenmaifert | 5 May 2012

Aside from the referenced article, has anyone seen any recent (2012) press from Toyota about the RAV4 EV? For a car that's supposed to be coming out this year, they haven't had much to say that I can find. Thanks.

BYT | 5 May 2012

@stevenmaifert, Toyota like all big car companies are very tight lipped about their cars until they have it in the showroom to sell. This is based on their past experiences, remember Tesla Motors is not typical in any stretch in how it's selling it's Roadsters before and the Model S/X very soon. We all know about it and we all know quite a lot about it for that matter!

stevenmaifert | 5 May 2012

@BYT - Thanks for your perspective. When you visit the Toyota Website for upcoming vehicles this year, the RAV4 EV isn't even mentioned. They still have it listed as a concept car. I wouldn't expect a TM style of fanfare for the RAV4 EV, but you'd think they'd throw the market a teaser once in a while if they're serious about a 2012 release. Maybe we'll hear more after the LA Electric Vehicle Symposium is concluded.

BruceR | 5 May 2012

Guess we'll have to wait till Monday to find out the details...

"Toyota to Debut All New RAV4 EV at EVS 26

April 30, 2012

Torrance, Calif., April 30, 2012---Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., will debut the all new RAV4 EV at the 26th International Electric Vehicle Symposium (EVS26) in Los Angeles. Toyota's news conference will be held on Monday, May 7 at noon in the West Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center. Credentialed media can receive complimentary EVS26 registration by visiting"

stevenmaifert | 6 May 2012

Yup, looks like we'll find out tomorrow if the RAV4 EV will be a serious contender in the EV marketplace, or just a ZEV compliance car:

JohhnyS | 6 May 2012

I saw a Toyota RAV4 EV at the supermarket near my office (Cerritos, CA) this past Friday. It had electric vehicle decals along with EV badges. It had manufacturer's plates and a number 10 on the back window--Toyota corporate must have at least 10 of them in Southern California.

BYT | 7 May 2012

Darn, makes me question how serious they are about it. They aren't taking the risk on it that I had hoped. What's worse is that it looks shorter then my current Rav4 which means there is no room for the optional 3rd row seats and therefore isn't useful to me at all.

I still have my Model S reservation however! ;)

Beaker | 7 May 2012

Wow, that's a lot of stuff under the hood, it almost looks like there's still an engine under there.

BYT | 7 May 2012

I thought so too Beaker! I was hoping it was just an error, that Greencarreports was mistaking the current Rav4 under the hood photo with that one. I can't see what all that crap is for!

BYT | 7 May 2012

Nope, it say's EV on there! Maybe Toyota has found a way to take a pure EV and make is so that it still required some sort of maintenance for long term residual nickle and diming of their customers?

BruceR | 7 May 2012

Clearly a compliance only car....
What a shame.

Beaker | 7 May 2012

@BruceR Yes :( Though my mom is looking at it and is in one of the target markets. For her sake maybe Toyota will use it as a lost leader too :)

wbrown01 | 7 May 2012

Rav4 EV $50,000 and only goes 100 miles/per charge. Who is going to buy that. Some car makers just don't get it. I think all EV's should get at least 150 on a charge, one reasons is so you can drive for more than 10 years. I thought Tesla and Toyota would have done better, who idea was it to settle for 100 mile a charge. This Rav4 is only a Rav4 that you plug in wall there is nothing neat about it and they want 50K for it.

I was hoping that this Rav4 would not make me regret my reservation of my Tesla and now I fell even better about it.

BYT | 7 May 2012

What Rav4 does with is however does bother me as a shareholder of TSLA. This makes Tesla Motors look bad doesn't it? With the powertrain being Tesla's and all? I don't know, I do know that I feel disappointed with Toyota's offering and hope there is more to it then what I read.

Vawlkus | 8 May 2012

9 gets you 10 that the 100 mile cap was Toyota's doing.

stephen.kamichik | 8 May 2012

The 100 mile cap was Toyota's idea.

David M. | 8 May 2012

I have to say I'm surprised by three things:
1. Pricing the RAV4 EV so high at $50K.
2. Having a 100mi range.
3. Only 2,600 units over 3 years.

First of all, the RAV4 EV is a great car, but not a performance car or a luxury car. At $50K, you either have to have performance or luxury (preferably both) to be able to sell a car at this price point. Frankly, I was expecting a $40K price point.

Second, with a 100mi range, the RAV4 EV becomes a "me too" offering. A car that size had opportunity to have a 120 - 160mi range, and be different from the pack. A 160mi range could have helped justify the $50K price.

Third, planning only 2,600 units shows a lack of commitment, and a lack of confidence in their ability to sell this EV (the second time around). Too bad.

EdG | 8 May 2012

My (totally uninformed) reading of this product is that Toyota is doing what California told them they must do, and not a bit more. Their investment in Tesla Motors is tiny by their standards, and they may have just been doing what they thought right to keep it afloat long enough to satisfy the California lawmakers. Don't want to be embarrassed when your supplier goes belly up.

If EVs fail, they lost their investment and California won't bother them about it again. If they succeed, the investment will bear some fruit. So they might as well hold onto their shares until the RAV4 experiment is over.

BYT | 8 May 2012

I see it like EdG does, that they are only doing this to pacify California lawmakers and have no backbone to really commit to electric in a real way which is very sad, disappointing and counterproductive. Well, my Rav4 will be the last Toyota I own then until they get their act together. I am going American from here on out, never again an ICE and most likely a new Tesla Motors loyalist as long as they stay committed to us as customers and put out the car we all expect them to.

So sad... :(

Larry Chanin | 8 May 2012

I also agree with Ed this is purely a compliance vehicle. The thing that colors our reaction to the RAV4 EV regarding the high MSRP is that the Volt and LEAF are, for now, probably taking a loss on each vehicle. Clearly, Toyota is taking a much more conservative approach and, at the present, doesn't intend to lose money or aggressively market this car.

Like others I am disappointed in the price point. I only hope that after testing the market with early adopters in California, they will modify their approach by increasing production volume, decreasing pricing and releasing in other states.

One positive thing that may come out of this is that Toyota technicians will have to be trained in Tesla's power train. Maybe down the road Tesla can capitalize on this by using Toyota dealerships for to supplement their ranger service.


Thumper | 8 May 2012

Not only is the Rav4 not going to have enough volume to contribute to TMs bottom line, it seems it is nothing but a pain in the butt. TM must tool up to make only 2600 units. Can they even recover the development costs? Is TM willing to do this becuse they buy components from Toyota? I hope it leads to something more lucrative in the future.

Sudre_ | 8 May 2012

I think the big car makers are banking on a political climate change next year. (Presidential) Then the EV push will end and Tesla's loan will be cut off and things can get back to the big car maker/oil world.

I am gambling that it's too late and Tesla will have the S out and more and more people will start wanting one.

Toyota got burnt pretty bad with the last RAV4/EV. They lost a major international lawsuit for selling the vehicles rather than collecting them and crushing them as directed by the oil company that bought the battery patent from GM. I understand their hesitation and see no reason why they should rush to market. Let Tesla take all the risk is their attitude. It also means Tesla will be the only real player on the field which could be good for us stock holders.

Sudre_ | 8 May 2012

hate posting twice but I had to laugh at....

Toyota’s group vice president of U.S. sales, said in an interview. “This is going to be the market’s only electric SUV.”

By the time Toyota gets it to the first customer most likely Telsa will have the X out with at LEAST 40 or 50 more miles to the charge. A faster charge time and a much more luxurious product. Toyota may own the market for one year.

Larry Chanin | 8 May 2012

Not only is the Rav4 not going to have enough volume to contribute to TMs bottom line, it seems it is nothing but a pain in the butt. TM must tool up to make only 2600 units. Can they even recover the development costs? Is TM willing to do this becuse they buy components from Toyota? I hope it leads to something more lucrative in the future. - Thumper

Good point. Of course Tesla knew this when they signed the $100 million deal to deliver power trains from 2012 to 2014. At first it sounds like a lot of money to us, but not really when you estimate how much a drive train is likely to cost and divide it into the total. It comes out to just a few thousand cars over three years. Either there were some other strings attached to the great deal they got on the Fremont factory, or unquestionably Tesla must think there is someting down the road to invest in this effort. I can't help thinking about that $1 billion potential deal that Elon aluded to when this contract was announced.


David M. | 8 May 2012

Toyota could have scored big with this partnership (Tesla). If Toyota knew that the EV would have to price out at $50K, then they should have never used the RAV4. They should have used the Lexus RX350 platform, and maybe priced the car at $55K. Then, it would only be about $10K more than an ICE Lexus RX350. But now, the RAV4 EV is priced more than twice the cost of an ICE RAV4.

Maybe Toyota really just wants to sell Hybrids for the next 20 years. They are pretty good at that.

Teoatawki | 8 May 2012

Between US and CA incentives, that price reduces to $40K, but still too much $ for too little vehicle and range. Well, at least range. The std equipment on the EV version may be equivalent to a much higher trim level of the ICE version.

Volker.Berlin | 9 May 2012

Clarified by Elon during the Q1 2012 conference call: The quoted 100 mile range is actually "at least 100 miles in the 5-cycle test" which can be expected to be actually around 105-120 miles. In city driving, which equals the Leaf's quoted 100 mile range, the RAV4 EV achieves a range of 165-170 miles.

Sudre_ | 9 May 2012

Sounds like the whole reason I assumed the two different kinds of testing were invented in the first place. To completely confuse people about the ratings.

Electric cars should not have a MPG rating. It will just confuse the heck out of people. They will be looking for the hole the gas goes in. Not to mention the true MPG rating changes depending on what you are paying for gas and electricity. Two factors that are wildly different in both cases from state to state. If anything it should be a total cost of ownership rating.

There should not be a 2-cycle test and a 5-cycle test. Confusion will be exactly what just happened. The Leaf is only a 2-cycle test. The Rav4 is a 5-cycle test.

On the bright side it is great because it gives some a chance to make a fortune on selling high and buying low.

Brian H | 10 May 2012

The range ratings are not MPG. They are per full charge.

Sudre_ | 10 May 2012

Brian H,

"Tesla scored its Roadster 2.5 with an MPGe rating of 119"

The S is like 89 MPGe.

I didn't say it would confuse me. It sure confuses the hell out of my wife and any other average non car person.

You just proved my point.

They are two different things but the masses will not see it. Whenever you ask the general public what their MPG is on their ICE they always just spout the highest thing on the sticker.

Volker.Berlin | 14 May 2012

The RAV4 EV battery is the same capacity as the base Model S. Yet, the base Model S seems to have more range, which is no surprise given the fact the we are comparing a mid-size SUV to an "endurance athlete" sedan.

(I have yet to see range numbers for the RAV4 EV and the Model S 40kWh that are actually comparable. All we know by now is that the Toyota gets at least 100 miles in the EPA 5-cycle, while the Tesla is expected to achieve 160 miles in the EPA 2-cycle.)

Brian H | 15 May 2012

I think there was about a 30% "penalty" going from 2-cycle to 5-cycle. By that measure, RAV4EV= ~140 and base Model S= 160 on the 2-cycle, or RAV4= 100 and the Model S= ~112. So about a 1/8 difference.