Toyota RAV4 EV 2013 review


New Toyota RAV4 EV was presented at the Auto Show in Los Angeles. This all-electric Toyota SUV has an estimated driving range rating of around 100 miles and charging time of around 6 hours on a 240V/40A charger. The Toyota RAV4 EV’s driving performance, dynamics and cargo capacity are equal to or exceed the gas powered RAV4 V6.  The Toyota RAV4 EV will go on sale in late summer 2012.

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The Toyota RAV4 EV is the product of a unique collaboration with Tesla Motors spurred by Akio Toyoda, president and CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation. The RAV4 EV combines a Tesla designed and produced battery and electric powertrain with Toyota’s most popular SUV model. The FWD Toyota RAV4 EV allows drivers to select from two distinctly different drive modes, Sport and Normal.

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Toyota RAV4 EV offers an exceptionally smooth, quiet ride and comfortable handling due in part to its low coefficient of drag and low center of gravity. In fact, at 0.30 Cd, RAV4 EV achieves the lowest coefficient of drag of any SUV in the world. Compared with the gas powered RAV4, Toyota re-styled the front bumper, upper and lower grill, side mirrors, rear spoiler, and under body design to maximize air flow around the vehicle. The RAV4 EV’s battery pack is mounted low and to the center of the vehicle, contributing to a more sedan-like ride.

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Toyota RAV4 EV features upscale LED low beam projector headlights with halogen projector high beams. A manual leveling system allows customers to redirect the headlights when the vehicle changes significantly in pitch due to a heavy load. Five vertical LEDs make up the daytime running lights, which dim to parking lights. The rear combination lights are LEDs accented by a unique light smoke outer lens.

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Inside, a six-way adjustable driver’s seat includes variable front seat heaters, which extends heater coverage to the occupant’s upper back. The split reclining rear seats with folding center arm rest fold flat for increased cargo space, with a total cargo capacity equivalent to the conventional RAV4 of 73 cu. ft. No interior space is lost in the vehicle due to EV components.

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Toyota’s approved electric vehicle supplier equipment provider is Leviton. Leviton offers multiple options for charging solutions. For the shortest charge time of approximately six hours, Leviton offers a custom 240V (Level 2), 40A, 9.6 kW output charging station. For more information visit The vehicle comes equipped with a 120V (Level 1) emergency charging cable for instances when the recommended 240V (Level 2) charging is not available.

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