The RAV4 EV was built with Tesla Motors and Toyota engineers that knew they’d need to be fast and flexible with development and evaluation. So they came up with a eFAST process (early field and suitability testing), the RAV4 EV to validate and confirm vehicle performance. Bottom line here is that they both built their own electric car. Now since they were doing one together and not reinventing the wheel it was a quick build.
In addition to robust accident protections, the RAV4 EV is designed with multiple systems to help protect and maintain a proper state of charge on the battery. For example, the onboard charger is equipped with a hardware voltage limiter to prevent overcharging the battery. To prevent over discharge, the air conditioning system and driving power will be limited at defined low States of Charge, prompting the driver with a warning in the meter display to plug the vehicle into a power source. Finally, the battery system is designed to handle a lengthy period of non-operation. At a 50% state of charge the RAV4 EV can sit without charging for approximately one year with no permanent loss of function. If the battery pack does become depleted, its 12-volt battery will allow the vehicle to turn on and shift into neutral. If the 12 volt battery is also depleted it can be jumped.
- Driving range displays an estimated range according to the amount of charge remaining in the traction battery along with the current air condition setting. The range will adjust based on the setting of the air conditioning.
- Trip efficiency displays the average power consumption in intervals of five minutes during a trip. Efficiency displays average power consumption since the function was reset as well as current power consumption.
- Eco coach evaluates the level of eco-sensitive driving according to acceleration, speed and braking and displays an overall score.
- CO2 reduction displays the amount of CO2 reduced compared to a conventional gasoline vehicle. The reduction is displayed as a growing tree.
- AUX power displays average 12-volt battery power consumption since the function was reset and the current trip’s 12-volt battery power consumption.
The RAV4 EV will go on sale in late summer 2012 through select California dealers, focusing on major metropolitan markets. Service for the RAV4 EV will only be available at these authorized RAV4 EV dealers. Sales volume is planned for approximately 2,600 units through 2014. The battery is warrantied for eight years or 100,000 miles.
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.
“We believe that the RAV4 EV will attract sophisticated early technology adopters, much like the first-generation Prius,” said Bill Fay, Toyota division group vice president and general manager. “It’s designed for consumers who prioritize the environment and appreciate performance. We look forward to seeing how the market responds.”
- May 2010 – Toyota/Tesla announce collaboration to develop electric vehicles, parts, production systems and engineering support
- July 2010 – Toyota/Tesla announce development of RAV4 EV
- November 2010 – Toyota reveals RAV4 EV Phase Zero prototype at LA Auto Show
- February 2011 – Tesla begins delivery of 31 converted RAV4 EV Phase Zero demonstration program vehicles
- April 2011 – Toyota provides first media drive opportunity of Phase Zero demonstration program vehicle at 2011 Sustainable Mobility Seminar
- August 2011 – Toyota/Tesla announce RAV4 EV manufacturing location - Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada, Inc., Woodstock, Ontario
- May 2012 – 2012 RAV4 EV revealed at Electric Vehicle Symposium 26
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