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Toyota RAV4 EV

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The Toyota RAV4 Electric Vehicle is an electric version of the popular RAV4 SUV.

Toyota Motor Corporation discontinued production of the RAV4 Electric Vehicle worldwide in the spring of 2003. The vehicle sold far faster than expected, and after just eight months the retail program was terminated. There was very little advertising, and few people knew that they were ever available. In the US RAV4 EVs were only available for sale at a relatively few selected dealers in the Los Angeles and San Francisco regions beginning in 1997.

Beginning in February of 2002, the public could buy or lease the non-polluting SUV in limited quantities at participating Toyota dealers. The MSRP was $42,000; but in California, rebates of $9,000 and a $3,000 credit from the Internal Revenue Service brought the price down to a more palatable $30,000, including home charger. This 100-percent electric vehicle (EV) can transport passengers at speeds up to 78 miles per hour, with a range of over 100 miles per charge. This was to give Toyota additional vehicles to address the California Air Resources Board's zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV) mandate, which would have required 2 percent of a manufacturer's vehicle sales within the state to be ZEV. CARB eliminated most of the ZEV requirement, substituting a greater number of partial zero-emissions vehicles (PZEVs) to meet the requirement. A Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (SULEV) category was also added. This program requirement was designed to obtain equivalent emissions reductions by substituting less expensive and more general purpose vehicles.

Unlike other manufacturers, Toyota did not recall vehicles, destroy them, and completely terminate the program. Toyota did, however cease sales one day after the California ZEV mandate was terminated by the substitution of PZEV vehicles. While no longer sold, the vehicle is still supported and is driven daily by hundreds of lucky owners.


  • 2007.04.21 - Electric SUV owner a true believer Californian loves his battery-pack Toyota RAV4, calling it 'the best, most reliable thing I've ever driven'
  • 2007.03.09 - gridable-hybrids - RAV4-REDUX EV RAV4 Conversion Musings
  • 2006.05.19 - EV on Ebay
    • Sanat Kumara poses next to his winning item, a 2003 all-electric RAV-4. (Photo courtesy of Sanat Kumara) Auction closed. A 2003 Toyota RAV4 Electric Vehicle just sold on eBay for $67,300, a record price for a secondhand electric vehicle. And it's also double what the original owners paid when they bought it new - three years and 59,000 miles ago. Host Steve Curwood talks with winning bidder Sanat Kumara.

ElectricDrive Specs

Data from

Vehicle Size: 
Overall Length (in.): 156.7 
Overall Width (in.): 67.1 
Overall Height (in.): 65 
Wheel Base (in.): 94.9 
Curb Weight (lbs.): 3,440
Payload (lbs.): 827 
Number of Occupants: 5 passengers 

Electric Power Plant: 
Voltage: 288
Horsepower: 67 
Power: 50 kW 
Battery Type: Ni-MH 
Battery Modules: 24 
Vehicle Systems: 
Recharging Specifications: On-Board 
Conductive or Inductive Transmission: Single Speed 
Suspension (F/R): Independent MacPherson Strut/Double Wishbone Coil Spring 
Steering: Electro-Hydraulic
Power Assisted Air Bags: Driver and passenger side
Tires: N/A 
Brake Assist: 
Front - Disk 
Rear - Drum 
Regenerative Braking: Equipped 
Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS): 4-wheel equipped 
Air Conditioning/Heater: Equipped (Auto A/C and Heat) 
Audio System (AM/FM/CD): AM/FM Stereo/Cassette 

Range (miles): 126 
Acceleration: 0 - 50 mph in 12.8 seconds (or 0-60 mph in about 18 seconds) 
Maximum Speed: 79 mph
Recharging Time: 6-8 hours

Contact Information:
Fleet use only 
Data from
Late in 2002, Tom Dowling wrote:
Regarding the number of RAV4 EVs on the road....
Sales by year....
1997 69
1998 359
1999 255
2000 106
2001 160
2002 1st half 218
2002 2nd half (my guesstimate) 82
Estimated total 1249

That puts Toyota ahead of:
EV1 (1110)
S10E (490)
EV+ (300)
Chrysler Epic EV (207)
Nissan Altra EV (130)
but behind the Ranger EV (1812, including 500 U.S. :Postal Service special models).
That's sales, of course.... and at least a few of these are
no longer on the road due to wrecks and other circumstances