To boost sales for its slow-selling all-electric RAV4 compact crossover, Toyota is discounting the unit via low-cost lease and loan offers. Toyota is offering until Sept. 3, 2013 the option of a $299-a-month, three-year lease for the RAV$, or a 60-month, no-interest loan, according to the carmaker’s Web site.
The discount offers is only good in the Los Angeles and San Francisco regions, according to Toyota spokeswoman Carly Schaffner. Honda Motor Co., Nissan Motor Co. and General Motors Co. are already offering discounted leases to boost sales of their electric offerings.
Toyota said in 2012 that it expects to sell 2,600 RAV4 EVs by the end of 2014, but the carmaker had only delivered 709 units from September last year to the end of July. Michelle Krebs, a senior analyst at auto researcher Edmunds.com, remarked that the mass market has been reluctant to buy electric vehicles due to the high cost of the technology.
The RAV4 EV carries a tag of $49,800 and is powered by a Tesla battery pack and motor. Krebs remarked that Toyota may not have done enough to promote the car’s Tesla connection. The RAV4 EV is a product of Toyota President Akio Toyoda’s desire to work with Tesla, led by Elon Musk. The project was disclosed in 2010, when Toyota made a $50-million investment in Tesla.