By on May 7, 2012

Toyota is only planning to sell 2,300 RAV4 EVs over the next three years! Can anyone say “compliance car”?

According to Yahoo’s Motoramic blog, Toyota sold that many RAV4s in one week last month. The RAV4 is a big departure from the first generation RAV4 EV sold in California.

The flat battery pack developed by Tesla means the car loses no cargo space. 60 mph comes up in 7 seconds (with Sport mode engaged – otherwise it’s 8.6 seconds). And the 100 mile range is competitive with cars like the Nissan Leaf.

Unfortunately, the RAV4 EV is expected to carry a $20,000 premium over the regular RAV4, and will be sold in very limited numbers – condemning it to irrelevance and a life of little purpose, save for meeting an obscure governmental mandate.


Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

16 Comments on “Toyota RAV4 EV – A $49,000 Compliance Exercise...”

  • avatar

    I’m sure that hardcore EV loyalists (maybe some with the original RAV4 EV) will pony up the extra dough, but I can’t see this having much demand at all… even for environmentalists, $20k can go a long way to lowering your carbon footprint in other ways. Too bad, too, since Tesla was really shilling their EV development expertise to other automakers – specifically this car. I wonder if they’ll see the return for only 2300 units over the next 3 years, or if Toyota will be the one taking a bath.

  • avatar

    One point in this car’s favor- exclusivity. Twenty thousand and one points against it- the price, AND the fact that there will only be 2299 of the same model in the U-pull-it places to get parts from.

    • 0 avatar

      Wouldn’t this share a good deal of components with a regular RAV4, powertrain not withstanding?

      Anyway, the thought of $40,000+ for a compact CUV is weird. I saw mention of being able to equip a GMC Terrain to $45k or so earlier today, and now this.

  • avatar

    One-hundred mile manufacturer has translated to about 70 miles in the real world. It seems all the EVs sans the Tesla Roadster are off by about 30% of their manufacturer estimates – I know Tesla fans hate having this pointed out and will now swear high and low that no no no, it will be 100 miles you’ll see.

    It also doesn’t bode well for the Tesla EV solution and selling it as a more mainstream package. If Tesla is making $5,000 a package (highly unlikely) that’s only $11.5 million added to the balance sheet in three years. That doesn’t even dent their current cash burn, and I’m willing to believe that investors were expecting more from this deal.

    At 100 miles it isn’t enough range for someone who lives in Seattle to go to Snoqualamie Pass for skiing and back.


    $49,000 for a RAV4 – and I’m going to assume that’s before ‘guberment hand out – so $41,500.

    Well, at least it’s more practical than a Volt, if you’re willing to pay the $9,000 premium.

    If the $49,000 is after ‘guberment handouts – holy rip off Batman! Buy a RAV-4 that burns gas, a Scion iQ for your guilty conscious, and keep the rest for unleaded.

    Oh Toyota will see all 2,300 of them in three years between commercial and consumer there is enough pent up demand. Why at current pace Nissan will sell 2X that many Leaves this year. ;-)

    • 0 avatar

      According to Tesla they’re expecting $60 million in revenue from this deal and Toyota bought $50 million of Tesla stock as part of the deal so it’s likely well more than the $11.5 million you’re projecting. You’re probably looking at the difference between the Toyota cost for the base RAV4 and the RAV4 EV as Tesla’s cut.

      • 0 avatar

        There is no way on this or any other planet Tesla is making 50 points of margin on each RAV4 being sold (that would give them $66 million). There is no way on this or any other planet they are making 25 points of margin on each RAV4 being sold. Their existing sales performance and the cost of batteries don’t support the math.

      • 0 avatar

        Revenue is a synonym for gross income, so it is possible that Tesla will receive $26,086 for each RAV4 EV sold. Why not? What does a RAV4 glider cost? It doesn’t mean that they will generate a single penny of profit though.

      • 0 avatar

        Also, don’t be surprised is Toyota was also buying access to the tech for other projects and/or to keep it away from other companies. There is much more to business contracts (and ways to make money) than just sales.

    • 0 avatar

      “Toyota bought $50 million of Tesla stock as part of the deal”

      And Tesla has purchased the former NUMMI plant from Toyota for $42 million.

      “I’m willing to believe that investors were expecting more from this deal.”

      This deal helped Tesla to secure $465 million in government loans.

    • 0 avatar

      It will (probably) be 100 miles real world, its a battery double the size of the one in the Leaf (4 times the Volts, 10 times the PIP?) and could get 300 miles of range in the hands of a hypermiler. Supposedly about 37kWh usable capacity. It will weigh about 4000lbs.

      I think Toyota met their California BEV requirements with the PIP, but they could always sell the extra credits. Plus they get a peek at Tesla’s technology.. Tesla has mastered battery management.

  • avatar

    Batteries are still expensive for the amount of “go” you get from them. Why bother pretending otherwise?

    If Toyota must build this car to satisfy some government mandate (and I have no idea what mandate that might be), then they do so. Why pretend is has a snowflake’s chance if it doesn’t?

    As long as we’re contemplating the plug-in market… I’m waiting to see what May Prius PHV sales are. They sold 1600 units, which is at least 600 more than I would have predicted. My guess is that the Prius PHV is the low-priced ticket to the HOV lane and that’s why it’s selling relatively well. I’ll be curious to see if Toyota continues to make 1600/month available in the US and, if they do, I’ll be curious to see if they continue to sell.

  • avatar

    This is also the car that is allowing TMC to evade the liabilities of the NUMMI shutdown at a relatively low cost. There’s more compliance here than may be obvious.

  • avatar

    LLN is reporting the price is $50,610 and that the volume for three years is 2,600 units.

  • avatar

    Very cool. But, too expensive. Cut 15K from the price, and I would take it for a test drive.

  • avatar

    I’m confused. Why the RAV4 platform, it’s not exactly light.
    Why not Matrix or Scion Xb if they need the room?
    I don’t understand the Pirus V but see it’s potential…. so why not just add the existing Hybrid Technology to the V6 model like they did in the Highlander? or Lexus RX hybrids?
    What is the point of putting a pure EV powerplant into an outgoing platform? Why do we drive on a parkway but park in the driveway? :)

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • EBFlex: “Another thing is that I sneak up on deer all the time on my mountain bike.” No….you...
  • EBFlex: ORV is just off road vehicle. A more broad term than ATV or UTV. And again, those are not analogous. Those...
  • Kenn: When I walked by the open door of the GM’s office at a SoCal Toyota dealer, the day I took delivery of my...
  • slavuta: Before traveling to space he could take care of public transport. You should like this...
  • ToolGuy: I spend that $169/year on washer fluid and oil filters instead.

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Jo Borras
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber