Hopefully the First Step Towards a Bigger EV Commitment from ToyotaThe Toyota RAV4 EV is finally coming, though only as a low volume model for now, and we've got all the juicy details on how much it will cost, as well as on range and energy efficiency: The RAV4 EV should receive an EPA rating of 78 city miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe), 74 MPGe on the highway, and 76 MPGe combined, and electric driving range is predicted to be 103 miles on the EPA's testing cycle. This isn't mind-blowing stuff, but it isn't too bad for a vehicle that wasn't designed from the ground up to be an electric vehicle (they could certainly have made it lighter and more aerodynamic if they had started from scratch).
"The RAV4 EV will go on sale the week of September 24, 2012 through select California dealers, focusing on major metropolitan markets. With a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $49,800, RAV4 EV customers will have the option of a purchase or lease program. Special purchase financing of 1.9 percent APR is available for qualified customers, as well as a 36 month lease option at $599 per month with $3,499 drive off. Sales volume is planned for approximately 2,600 units through 2014.
The RAV4 EV is expected to qualify for a $2,500 rebate through the Clean Vehicle Rebate Program in California and also is eligible for a $7,500 Federal Tax Credit. The vehicle will qualify for the California High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane white sticker program."
Let's also not forget that a lot of the credit should go to Tesla Motors, who worked with Toyota on making this EV.
While it's nice, I do wish Toyota would stop fooling around with these small scale projects and go all out with a mass-market, high-volume 100% electric model. The sooner they get started, the faster they'll get to the sweet spot of price/performance.