Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A. Inc. announced Dec. 12, 2001, that it will begin offering the RAV4-EV (electric vehicle) to retail customers in California beginning in February 2002. The Toyota RAV4-EV is a zero-emission, electric version of Toyota’s RAV4 sport/utility vehicle (SUV). The announcement was made at the 2001 Electric Transportation Industry Conference and Exposition. In 1997, Toyota began making the RAV4-EV available nationally through a special fleet lease program to major corporations and utilities. Today, more than 900 RAV4-EVs are in service nationwide, including 700 in California. Beginning in 2003, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Zero Emissions Vehicle Mandate (ZEV) will take effect, requiring 10 percent of all new vehicles sold in California to meet low-emissions standards, with 2 percent qualified as zero-emission vehicles. As part of Toyota’s overall compliance effort, and in order to meet the zero-emissions mandate, Toyota will begin offering RAV4-EVs to retail customers in February 2002. The RAV4-EV is powered by a maintenance-free, permanent magnet motor, producing 50kW of power (equivalent to a 67-horsepower gasoline engine). It will have a top speed of 78 mph, and a range between 80 and 100 miles per charge. Standard equipment includes four-wheel anti-lock brakes, alloy wheels, dual front airbags, air conditioning, power-operated mirrors, windows and door locks, and a sound system with a CD player. The RAV4-EV will have a manufacturers suggested retail price (MSRP) of $42,000, but a $9,000 incentive from CARB and a $3,000 IRS credit will bring the price down to $30,000, which includes an in-home charging device. There will also be three special introductory lease options, which also include the use of the charger.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials