A Look At The Homebrew Toyota RAV4 EVs Already Out There
May 10th, 2012 11:52 AM Share
Despite Toyota’s announcement of a new generation of RAV4 EV, mostly for CARB compliance, it seems that RAV4 EV production has never really stopped – at least not on a one-off basis.
Brian Driggs of Gearbox Magazine went looking through EVAlbum’s catalog of enthusiast-created RAV4 EV conversions. Some of them look identical to a standard RAV4, while others are more intricate. Witness the RAV4 EV, that appears to be a Toyota original. The big difference is that this photo, apparently dated in 2001, shows the RAV4 EV towing a trailer. Within the trailer is a Kawasaki 500cc parallel-twin motorcycle engine that powers an A/C generator. Range extender anyone? Yes, it’s a little crude, but also somewhat ingenious.
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Published May 10th, 2012 11:52 AM
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I feel like I'm losing it. An electric vehicle that pulls around an ICE on a trailer to recharge its electric engine... So do they also re-route the RAV4's gas tank to the trailer through a hose? Can the trailer be running and recharge the RAV4 while moving?
I don't know how you would ever reverse with that trailer. It is too small to see in any of your mirrors and even if you had a rearview camera, it is so short it will still be near impossible to back up. Also, I have always wanted to have a silent electric car that is constantly being followed by a sport bike revved to its peak powerband. It would be even better if it revved up and down while you were at a stoplight. It would be like cruising the strip everywhere you go.
Seems a long time ago now, but I used to work at a Volvo dealership. I remember seeing pictures of Volvos during the war dragging trailers behind them burning coal (I think) which produced gas to feed the car engine.
How about this for something to chew on. http://www.mrsharkey.com/pusher.htm He took the front of a Rabbit, turned it into a trailer, and uses it to push his EV either for straight range extension, or using the regen to charge the batteries.