Allow us to clarify that the latest generation Toyota RAV-4 is available in two wheelbase versions, with Europe and Japan getting the SWB variant and North America, the LWB model that is also sold in its home market with a different nose job under the name Vanguard.
Inside, Toyota added new standard features and redesigned the steering wheel together with the paddle shifters that are said to be more ergonomic.
Finally, the Japanese firm's engineers made a few changes to the Vanguard's 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine resulting in improved fuel economy and reduced CO2 emissions.
Jim Lentz, president of Toyota Motors Sales, confirmed development of a hybrid gas-electric version of the company’s RAV4 crossover SUV. Lentz added that Toyota’s 1.8-liter hybrid system will become the company’s “core powertrain.”
The RAV4 Hybrid is due in spring 2012, but only the five-door model will get the hybrid option.
HybridCars.com reported last April that the RAV4 Hybrid was in the works. The Toyota Highlander has an EPA rating of 27 in the city and 25 on the highway. As a smaller vehicle, the RAV4 Hybrid could exceed 30 miles per gallon—possibly becoming the most fuel-efficient SUV on the market. Currently, the Ford Escape Hybrid, 34 highway / 31 city, has that distinction. Hybrid fans have been hoping for a gas-electric RAV4 for several years.
Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc. (TMS) will debut the Toyota RAV4 EV during the Los Angeles Auto Show media days, on November 17 at 2:50 PM at the Toyota booth in South Hall at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Jim Lentz, president and chief operating officer, TMS, will speak at the news conference. Greg Bernas, chief engineer, Toyota Technical Center, and Shigeki Terashi, president, Toyota Technical Center, also will be in attendance.
That was fast.
Last edited by Motor; 05-07-2012 at 06:28 PM..
Reason: dead images
I know, Snoresville, and it was all I could do to keep from falling asleep standing up during the press conference. But it was amazing how many journalists seemed absolutely riveted, and pushed and shoved to grab photos, as Toyota execs waxed on about the company's grand future plans for electric vehicles.
First, a brief history: The original RAV4 EV arrived in 1997 and 1,484 vehicles were leased over its six-year run, most for fleet duty, although some were made available to the general public. Of the original run, Toyota says nearly 750 are still in operation. That first RAV4 EV had a claimed range of 80-100 miles.
The second-gen RAV4 EV is being built in conjunction with Tesla Motors. The RAV4 production facility is in Canada, but Tesla will build and supply the batteries and many powertrain components at its Palo Alto, California, facility. Despite the addition of its lithium-ion battery pack, Toyota says the RAV4 EV will have a cargo volume equal to that of the 2010 RAV4.
Toyota says an initial run of 35 "Phase Zero" RAV4 EVs will be built this year to be used as part of a demonstration and evaluation program, which will run through 2011. Currently the test vehicles are achieving a claimed 100-mile range. Although the final range of the RAV4 EV has not yet been determined, the goal for the production vehicles is to be able to achieve a solid 100 miles in all manner of climates and conditions, a difficult feat for most electrics.
Bob Carter, Group Vice President and General Manager, Toyota Division, Toyota Motor Sales
Good afternoon everyone. Thank you for joining us.
Two years ago, Toyota and Tesla Motors announced the beginning of a collaborative effort to bring an all-electric RAV4 to market this year.
Tesla brought to the table a fast and flexible development style….
Toyota shared its expertise in engineering and manufacturing.
The idea was to learn from each other.
We accelerated our conventional development process without compromising product quality.
The Toyota/Tesla team continually focused on the customer experience….
How do we deliver an unconventional product to mainstream customers that is compelling, affordable, and convenient?
This unique collaboration allowed the talents, and creativity, of both Toyota and Tesla to shine. Every aspect of the vehicle, from the handling to the headlamps, was designed, engineered and executed to ensure Toyota quality.
A typical product planning cycle is more than four years. The RAV4 EV moved from conception to production in less than two. There was no template for this project…..no guidelines….just a challenge to bring a premium EV to the market. The Toyota and Tesla engineers both rose to that challenge.
The fruit of this unique partnership is a truly ground-breaking vehicle….
Ladies and gentleman, may I present…….the all new RAV4 EV…….
It's all about blending the best of two worlds.
The all new RAV4 EV marries the efficiency of an EV with the versatility of a small SUV.
Tesla's high performance battery and power train meets the style, cargo capacity and performance of the RAV4 V6.
In fact, it will be the only all-electric SUV on the market.
And it brings with it an expected driving range of approximately 100 miles – thanks to a uniquely blended regen-brake system.
The 41.8 kWh lithium-ion battery pack can smoothly and quietly take you from 0-60 in 7 seconds. That is seriously fast. Of course, the downside to all this electric power is additional weight. The RAV4 EV weighs approximately 470 pounds more than its V6 counterpart. But the engineers turned this challenge into another opportunity for improvement.
By shifting the extra weight downward and towards the center of the vehicle, they achieved a lower center of gravity……comparable to a conventional sedan. The chassis was tuned to support this new weight distribution, creating an extremely comfortable ride.
The engineers’ original goal was to match the ride and handling of the RAV4 V6. The result was an even better driving experience…that I believe…will dramatically change your thinking regarding EV performance.
On the outside, engineers focused on clean, aerodynamic performance.
The RAV4 EV features a distinctive upper and lower grille, front bumper, side mirrors and spoiler. The new LED headlights, tail lights and daytime running lights combine energy efficiency with sleek lines. This attention to aerodynamic design achieves a coefficient of drag of zero-point-three-zero…the lowest of any SUV….and significantly reduces cabin noise…while extending the vehicle’s range capabilities.
In the move to all-electric we didn't have to sacrifice space. The RAV4 EV like the conventional version still features a maximum cargo volume of 73 cubic feet and comfortable seating for five.
Inside, the RAV4 EV looks and feels, decidedly upscale. It features a unique meter cluster, navigation and telematics. Customers can select one of three unique exterior colors and the vehicle is well-appointed with a new interior fabric featured exclusively in the RAV4 EV.
With an MSRP of $49,800, we believe the RAV4 EV will fit the specific needs of sophisticated, early technology adopters, much like the first generation Prius buyers. Available federal and California state incentives can bring their cost below $40,000…while California HOV lane access adds to the RAV4 EV’s customer appeal.
Toyota has partnered with Leviton to provide RAV4 EV customers with easy access to home charging. The Leviton, 40amp, 240V custom home-charging unit allows for a full charge in about six hours. And charging can be managed remotely using your SmartPhone. Leviton takes the guess work out of charger selection by taking customers through an easy step by step process for order, inspection and installation.
There are many people responsible for creating this fantastic product, but I would like to recognize two individuals, whose leadership was instrumental….
First, our project leader… the RAV4 EV chief engineer …..Mr. Greg Bernas.
And we’d also like to welcome and thank Tesla Motor’s Chief Technology Officer…… J.B. Straubel.
Gentlemen, thank you for joining us today.
J.B., we understand Elon wanted to be here today, but he’s a little busy. In fact, he’s at mission control right now launching a rocket that will dock with the international space station.....because that’s what you do on a Monday afternoon. Please give him our best.
As I discussed in this morning’s opening session, Toyota is mindful of the challenges facing mainstream acceptance of battery electric vehicles. That’s why our market approach will be measured and focused.
When The RAV4 EV hits showrooms in late summer, it will initially be offered in four major California metro markets – Sacramento, Bay Area, LA and Orange County and San Diego - through a select number of dealers. We plan to build about 2600 vehicles over the next three years.
We believe this measured introduction will allow us to:
1) efficiently meet the demands of the market
2) support the California ZEV mandate requirements
3) continue to educate the general public about our portfolio of advanced technologies.
Because in addition to the RAV4 EV, 2012 will see the introduction of the compact iQ EV for urban car sharing programs, growing sales of the Prius Plug-in…Prius c…Prius v and the car that started it all, the Prius. No other manufacturer provides so many options for customers.
One thing’s for sure - with the excellent range, exceptional performance and versatility offered by the RAV4 EV we’re excited to see how the market responds.
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. today revealed the highly anticipated all-new Toyota RAV4 EV at the 26th annual Electric Vehicle Symposium in Los Angeles. This all-electric SUV has an expected driving range rating of approximately 100 miles and charging time of approximately six hours on a 240V/40A charger. The RAV4 EV’s driving performance, dynamics and cargo capacity are equal to or exceed the gas powered RAV4 V6. Arriving fully-equipped with an MSRP of $49,800 the RAV4 EV 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 the Toyota division. “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 unique collaboration with Tesla Motors spurred by Akio Toyoda, president and CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation. Twenty-two months after the project announcement, Toyota and Tesla engineers have succeeded in bringing an outstanding product to market in record time.
The RAV4 EV combines a Tesla designed and produced battery and electric powertrain with Toyota’s most popular SUV model. The collaborative team set its sights on refining the customer experience. From advanced charging options to interior comfort to interactive displays, the vehicle has been designed for customer ease of use and maximum vehicle range.
The front wheel drive RAV4 EV allows drivers to select from two distinctly different drive modes, Sport and Normal. In Sport mode, the vehicle reaches 0-60 mph in just 7.0 seconds and has a maximum speed of 100 mph. Normal mode achieves 0-60 mph in 8.6 seconds with a maximum speed of 85 mph. Maximum output from the electric powertrain is 154 HP (115kW) @ 2,800 rpm.
RAV4 EV offers an exceptionally smooth, quiet ride and comfortable handling due in part to its low coefficient of drag and low center of gravity. In fact, at 0.30 Cd, RAV4 EV achieves the lowest coefficient of drag of any SUV in the world. Compared with the gas powered RAV4, Toyota re-styled the front bumper, upper and lower grill, side mirrors, rear spoiler, and under body design to maximize air flow around the vehicle. The RAV4 EV’s battery pack is mounted low and to the center of the vehicle, contributing to a more sedan-like ride.
On the exterior, RAV4 EV features upscale LED low beam projector headlights with halogen projector high beams. A manual leveling system allows customers to redirect the headlights when the vehicle changes significantly in pitch due to a heavy load. Five vertical LEDs make up the daytime running lights, which dim to parking lights. The rear combination lights are LEDs accented by a unique light smoke outer lens. Other exterior variations from the gasoline powered RAV4 include new exterior emblems on the front, rear and the front door panel utilizing the signature Toyota “environmental blue.”
The vehicle will be available later this year in three exterior colors: Blizzard White Pearl, Shoreline Blue Pearl and Classic Silver Metallic. The interior features a unique “Neutron” fabric, woven with a subtle sheen and blue accent, on the seat inserts and door trim.
Inside, a six-way adjustable driver’s seat includes variable front seat heaters, which extends heater coverage to the occupant’s upper back. The split reclining rear seats with folding center arm rest fold flat for increased cargo space, with a total cargo capacity equivalent to the conventional RAV4 of 73 cu. ft. No interior space is lost in the vehicle due to EV components.
The highlight of the interior is an eight-inch capacitive touch screen with a state of the art graphic display, featuring navigation, telematics, and EV drive information and settings designed specifically for the RAV4 EV. Entune™ is standard (with three year complimentary access to Entune™ services) along with SiriusXM Satellite Radio (with 3-month trial subscription to XM Select package), AM/FM radio, Bluetooth® streaming audio, and USB port with iPod® connectivity. The dash display color illuminates red when the vehicle is operating in sport mode and blue in normal driving mode.
Toyota’s approved electric vehicle supplier equipment provider is Leviton. Leviton offers multiple options for charging solutions. For the shortest charge time of approximately six hours, Leviton offers a custom 240V (Level 2), 40A, 9.6 kW output charging station. For more information visit Leviton.com/Toyota. 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 2012 through select dealers, initially in four major California metropolitan markets including Sacramento, San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles/Orange County and San Diego. Sales volume is planned for approximately 2,600 units over the next three years. The battery warranty is 8 years or 100,000 miles.
“We believe that the RAV4 EV will attract sophisticated early technology adopters, much like the first-generation Prius,” said Carter. “It’s designed for consumers who prioritize the environment and appreciate performance. We look forward to seeing how the market responds."
In July 2010, Toyota Motor Corporation and Tesla Motors jointly announced an agreement to develop an all-electric version of the RAV4, with the intent to bring the vehicle to market in 2012. Tesla contributed its EV technology expertise, daring spirit, quick decision making and flexibility. Toyota contributed design, engineering, manufacturing and production expertise. In an industry where development cycles are typically five years, Toyota and Tesla brought a dynamic product to market in less than half that time.
TOYOTA/TESLA DEVELOPMENT MILESTONES
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