If the 2011 and 2012 automotive industry is going to be remembered for any kind of milestone, it's no doubt that the birth of the electric vehicle. In fact, maybe that's wrong - the RAV4 EV, the topic of today's blog, was available in short supply in the mid-1990s, while Handy Toyota's sister store Handy Chevrolet could locate electric vehicle or EV variants of the then-popular Chevrolet S10 truck as early as 1989! That said, one could still consider this time to be the TRUE birth of the EV as in the late '80s and throughout the 1990s the technology just wasn't fully accepted.
Skip ahead a decade and a half or more and here we are: ready to launch a whole slew of battery powered vehicles. To mention our sister store Handy Chevrolet again, Chevy launched the Volt EV to great success; Toyota has finally unleashed its Prius Plug-in, the electrified variant of the record-setting hybrid leader the original Prius; and Tesla, the company that partnered with Toyota to produce the RAV4 EV, has nothing in its small lineup other than electric cars - pricy and sporty though these few cars may be.
So again, I think it's safe to say the dawn of the EV is upon us, and what a thrilling time it is. As mentioned in my Prius Plug-in elongated test drive blog, I really got to sink my teeth into the Prius PHV in non-test drive fashion. In other words when I test a vehicle for blogging purposes here at Handy Toyota of St. Albans, VT, I'm very careful to not, well, drive it like it's mine. This was a covered rental due to an accident, and over the month I had it I learned to treat it like my own. Read more about my test drive of the Prius PHV here, but let it be known I put $21 in gas in the tank and charged it thrice over 4 weeks.
I digress, what of the RAV4 EV, you ask? Well Toyota's decided it's just about ready to let it out the gates, and the news is getting excitingly in depth. Sometime before the end of 2012 - some say even before fall of 2012, although that gives very little time - the RAV4 EV will be available for purchase at your favorite VT Toyota dealer's store. Featuring over 100 miles of EV driving with a 6 hour charge time (from a 240-volt outlet), the RAV4 EV is said to rival the current RAV4 V6's capabilities without difference (less the sound of a gas engine and some enhanced acceleration due to the electricity of course).
Starting with an MSRP of around $49,800 (not including Federal Tax Incentives as high as $10,000), the RAV4 EV's highlights include:
- It's the most aerodynamic SUV in the world, with a coefficient of drag of just 0.30
- Drivers will be able to enjoy a Sport driving mode that enable the RAV4 EV to race from 0-60 in 7.0 seconds
- Two charge modes can be used, including a standard mode, designed to optimize battery life, which will provide a projected range of 92 miles; using the extended charging mode, the range is expected to increase to 113 miles
- The climate system leverages a unique three-mode setup with two modes dedicated to helping extend the RAV4 EV's range by reducing power consumption
- Toyota's IntelliTouch driver interface, boasting an 8-inch capacitive touchscreen for control of a wide variety of vehicle, infotainment and connectivity features
Launching in California within a few weeks, the RAV4 EV will slowly migrate across the country as the year drags on. For more information, email our sales team or stop in and see us today.
St. Albans, VT 05478