Toyota unveils Canadian-built RAV4 EV

New electric vehicle will be built in Woodstock, ON, but it won't be sold in Canada

Published: May 8, 2012, 2:00 PM

Toyota RAV4 EV

Toyota revealed the production version of the Toyota RAV4 EV at the 26th annual Electric Vehicle Symposium in Los Angeles this week. A prototype of the vehicle was shown at the Los Angeles auto show in 2010.

In August, it was announced that the vehicle will be assembled exclusively at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing (TMMC) plant in Woodstock, Ontario, which opened in the fall of 2009.

The all-electric SUV has an expected driving range rating of approximately 160 km and charging time of approximately six hours on a 240V/40A charger.

Toyota says the RAV4 EV's driving performance, dynamics and cargo capacity equal or exceedthose of the gasoline-powered RAV4 V-6and that it doesn't compromise on performance, comfort or versatility.

"It's all about blending the best of two worlds," said Bob Carter, group vice president and general manager of Toyota division in the US. "The all-new RAV4 EV marries the efficiency of an EV with the versatility of a small SUV – in fact, it is the only all-electric SUV on the market."

The RAV4 EV is the product of a collaboration with Tesla Motors spurred by Akio Toyoda, president and CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation. Working together, Toyota and Tesla engineers brought the vehicle to market in just 22 months.

The RAV4 EV employs a Tesla designed and produced battery and electric powertrain. Maximum output from the electric powertrain is 154 HP (115kW) @ 2,800 rpm.

The front wheel drive RAV4 EV allows drivers to select from two different drive modes, Sport and Normal. In Sport mode, the vehicle can achieve 0-100 km/h in about 7.0 seconds and has a maximum speed of 160 km/h. In Normal mode . the 0-100 run takes closer to 9 seconds, with a maximum . maximum speed of 137 km/h.

Compared with the gasoline-powered RAV4, the EV features a restyled front bumper, upper and lower grille, side mirrors, rear spoiler, and under-body design to maximize air flow around the vehicle. Toyota says the RAV4 EV's 0.30 coefficient of drag (Cd) is the lowest of any SUV in the world, aiding both performance and efficiency.

The RAV4 EV's battery pack is mounted low, towards the centre of the vehicle, contributing to a more sedan-like ride. The battery warranty is 8 years or 160,000 km.

Toyota's approved electric vehicle supplier equipment provider, Leviton, offers several charger options, including a custom 240V (Level 2), 40A, 9.6 kW output station with a charging time of six hours. The vehicle comes equipped with a 120V (Level 1) emergency charging cable for instances when the recommended 240V (Level 2) charging is not available.

The RAV4 EV will go on sale in late summer in California, but not in Canada, which is perhaps a good decision considering its near $50,000 (U.S.) price tag. The company expects to sell approximately 2,600 units over the next three years.