Toyota Motor Corp. is claiming that its RAV4 EV sports utility vehicle could travel farther than its major rivals’ electric models. According to Toyota, its RAV4 EV could travel up to 113 miles or 182 kilometers on a full charge. Bill Fay, group vice president of U.S. Toyota-brand sales, quipped that the RAV4 EV's driving performance, dynamics and cargo capacity are equivalent to or may even surpass the RAV4 V-6.
Fay added that the electric-powered small SUV is the “most practical, versatile and convenient” electric vehicle on the market. RAV4 EV joins an increasing number of electric vehicles that are making waves in the market, including the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt, Honda Fit EV and Ford Focus EV.
Carmakers are bent on producing these environment-friendly units to meet demand for vehicles that emit little or no pollution as well as to comply with California rules.
According to Fay, Toyota is eyeing to sell 2,600 of the RAV4 EV during model years 2012 through 2014, and another 30,000 Prius plug-in hybrids to comply with California’s zero-emission vehicle program.
RAV4 EV will need around six hours of charging before it becomes full. It also has two charging modes for its 41.8-kilowatt battery. California buyers have a chance to acquire a RAV4 EV in a month for just $49,800. The RAV4 EV, however, qualifies for $10,000 in combined federal and state incentives.
The exterior of the electric version of the Toyota RAV4 is marked by upscale projector headlights that employ LED units for low beams and halogen units for high beams. These headlights could be redirected during pitch changes (due to heavy loads) thanks to a manual leveling system. Meanwhile, the daytime running lights – also serving as parking lights – are served by five vertical LED units.
LED units are also used in rear combination lights, as accented by a distinct light smoke outer lens. To further distinguish the EV version of the RAV-4 from its conventionally powered sibling, it is marked with new exterior emblems on the front, rear as well as with signature Toyota "environmental blue” on the front door panel.
At launch later this year, the new Toyota RAV4 EV could be availed in three exterior color choices: Blizzard White Pearl, Classic Silver Metallic and Shoreline Blue Pearl. Inside, the new Toyota RAV4 EV is wrapped in distinct "Neutron" subtly glossy fabric featuring blue accent on the seat inserts and door trim. The driver is treated to a six-way adjustable seat with variable front seat heaters.
Interestingly, these seat heaters could also cover the driver’s upper back. Rear passengers, meanwhile, are provided with split reclining seats with folding center arm. These rear seats could be folded flat to increase cargo space to 73 cu. ft., which is basically the same overall capacity of the conventional RAV4 in the same configuration.
Moreover, the interior comes with an array of technological elements like the eight-inch capacitive touch screen with advanced graphic display. This display features navigation, telematics as well as EV drive information and settings specially designed for the electric version of the Toyota RAV4. This EV is provided, as standard, with Entune (including a three-year complimentary access to Entune services) and SiriusXM Satellite Radio (with three-month trial subscription to XM Select package).
Also standard are AM/FM radio, USB port with iPod connectivity and Bluetooth streaming audio. Interestingly, the illumination of the dash display turns blue when the Toyota RAV4 EV is in normal driving mode and red when it is in sport mode.