Toyota RAV4 EV Not Compatible With Some Level 2 Charging Stations

By · November 05, 2012

RAV4 EV Leviton

Toyota's EVSE supplier for the RAV4 EV is Leviton. It seems that only some Level 2 chargers are fully compatible with Toyota's electric crossover.

Potential buyers and current owners beware: it seems the Toyota RAV4 EV may have some compatibility issues related to Level 2 (240 volt) charging.

The potential problem was reported just days ago, but the issue is already being addressed by Toyota. It seems that some owners of the 2012 RAV4 EV have complained of a "Check EV System" warning after attempting to charge their vehicle at a public charging station. If this warning appears, the vehicle does not charge.

There have been 108 sales of the RAV4 EV reported so far, with 48 sales in October. Toyota will manufacture only 2,600 RAV4 EVs over the course of the next three years.

Toyota is notifying dealers of the situation and has listed these chargers that as fully compatible with the RAV4 EV:

  • Leviton (exclusive EVSE supplier for the RAV4 EV) offers fully approved 16 amp, 30 amp and 40 amp charging stations.
  • Aerovironment: Level 2 EVSE-RS
  • Blink/Ecotality: Level 2 Charge Station
  • ChargePoint/Coulomb Technologies: CT2000 Series
  • Clipper Creek: CS Series
  • Eaton: EV Charging Station (residential)
  • Eaton: Pow-R-Station (commercial)
  • Schneider Electric: EVLink Indoor Charging Station (EV2430WS)

Toyota intends to test the functionality of additional charging stations to identify more units that are compatible with the RAV4 EV. For now, the manufacture recommends that owners of the electric crossover only use the chargers listed above.


· Chris A. (not verified) · 5 years ago

Toyota fails at standards... :-)

· · 5 years ago

Anybody who has ever worked with standards knows that this kind of problem always happens, especially in the first few years of a standard.

As an example, FWIW, doesn't work very well with my Mac Firefox web browser.

This kind of problems eventually comes to a tolerable level of interoperability, however, complete testing between all devices really is the only way to solve it early on. Every new EV manufacture and EVSE manufacturer will have to test their EV/EVSE with all EVSEs/EVs they want to be compatible with and list them.

· · 5 years ago

Not only bevs are sold at a premium price and with short range but they are sold with a very deficient incompatible electric recharge system. Not surprisingly someone driving from los-angeles to las vegas with an electric car is a hero and an article is written to celebrate this achievement. In 1920 someone was able to drive from san diego to new york with just the need to stop for meal and to sleep back and forth.

Im beginning to think that big oil already bought all these moron bevs manufacturers to convince them to fail and also to retard the hydrogen fuelcell cars and suvs.

Each and all the latest bevs are born with a different system to recharge them, why ? It's like there was 10 different incompatible light bulb sockets on the market. This is a planned crash done by toyota, gm, nissan, tesla, fisker karma, renauld, kengis knan, alfred hichcock, frankestein, mao tse tung, lenine, etc.

· · 5 years ago

gorr . . . You forgot Jack The Ripper and The Little Mermaid. They're all in on this, you know!

But seriously: what to expect from an electric car, built by a manufacturer who has publicly gone on record as a hater of electric cars?

· Chris C. (not verified) · 5 years ago

Please ignore gorr, he's a troll. I'll bet his IP traces back to ExxonMobil HQ in Irving TX :)

Back to the article ... So I guess by process of elimination we can figure out which EVSE maker might be a problem with the RAV4 EV. Scanning the Toyota approved EVSE list, I don't see the following major suppliers on it:

GE WattStation
SPX / Voltec

Remember Nissan's problems with the Leaf's onboard charger and the GE WattStation, which turned out to be Nissan's fault? I'm sure the GE folks are groaning at this incident as well. Here comes another week of bad press for them -- likely undeserved, again.

· · 5 years ago

As an engineer, I agree with ex-EV1. Standards are a good start, but are far from a complete guarantee of compatibility.

I actually laughed out loud at your list. Alfred Hitchcock! Classic EV-hater!

· · 5 years ago

Has anyone here run into problems charging their 2012+ RAV4 EV?

· · 5 years ago

Actually, guys, I like reading these lists that gorr comes up with. And, yeah . . . Alfred Hitchcock?!? Genghis Khan is another one I would have never thought of. Too funny . . .

One thing I will address, though, is gorr's contention that driving from San Diego to New York in 1920 with a gasoline powered automobile was a routine experience: it wasn't. It would be several years before we had paved roads that could pass as a cross-country highway (Route 66) and at least a few more decades before the interstate highway system began coming into place.

My father once recounted a story to me of a Model T car trip he took as a teenage passenger - from Harrisburgh, Pennsylvania to the New Jersey shore - in the mid 1920s. Most of the well-traveled roads then were still unpaved dirt. As for gasoline, you had to know which particular country stores happened to stock it. I'm sure not all did. The family farm tractor (which may or may not have also been the family Model T) was only then retiring plow mules.

Passenger air travel was also very much a primitive proposition back then. The most reliable and mainstream way to engage in transcontinental travel in the early 1920s would have been to take a train.

· · 5 years ago

This seems like a repeat of the experience of other EV companies in the past year. They test the new vehicle with a few "approved" EVSE vendors and end up with problems in the field..

This could be avoided by doing more interoperability testing on the vehicle to see if it can handle all the various implementations of the SAE J1772 EVSE standard.

· Tony Williams (not verified) · 5 years ago

My Rav4 will not charge with the Nissan (Panasonic with Yazaki handle) EVSE that comes with the LEAF. It works fine on the Blink 30 amp L2, but then it's not wise to assume that they all work !!!

· · 5 years ago

Gorr is making the same point I've made 10 times here, The SAE J1772 (and about 6 subtending dopily numbered Underwriter's Laboratories ) standard is unbelievably bad, as a matter of fact I can't think of any ""Standard" in my lifetime that has been this hideous. GE always has the habit of coming out with weird designs from weird fuse boxes, to weird motors, and now weird Wattstations. I'm highly doubtful the press release saying its a Nissan software fault is remotely near the truth. Elsewhere on these blogs I've guestimated the exact problem there.

There are also several chargers that will not work with the Tesla Roadster, one problem being that there is a Tesla Design Defect in the Roadster charging mechanism.

All these products are SAE J1772 compatible but they don't work together, and its not like we're talkin about something complicated. The Evse's are a light switch and ground fault, that's essentially it.

· Anonymous (not verified) · 5 years ago

Ddes the new RAV4 EV support SPX Power Express, or is it vice versa?

· Tony Williams (not verified) · 5 years ago

GE WattStation - haven't checked, but there's one nearby
SemaConnect - works perfectly

· Anonymous (not verified) · 5 years ago

I tried to charge our rav4 EV on the SPX chargers at work back in September and I got the warning light. Took it to dealer. Dealer had to call corp and corp had to call Tesla. I found out a lot of info and I also now have a good in with Toyota corp.

· · 5 years ago

The thread at additionally shows that the GE Wattstation has "basic compatibility". The SPX EVSE, GM Voltec EVSE , and the Panasonic Level 1 Leaf unit (and its 240V upgrade) are listed as "not compatible.".
There are also various reports with glitches with the charge timer. Speculation is that there are inaccurate readings of the EVSE capability and when you set a timer for a completion time. It may start early due to under-estimating the charge rate available.

· · 5 years ago

Not sure, but I would bet the GE DuraStation would also be good since it works with my Tesla Roadster. Interestingly the RAV4EV is horribly inefficient at 120 volts, same as my Roadster. (This is per their brouchure's charging times listing -- Anything 240, even a tiny Leviton 160, has perfectly fine efficiency).

Since Tesla did the battery and motor controller, this probably isn't so surprizing.

Legrande 16 amp unit however may not work, since it doesn't with the Roadster.
Voltec may also not work, as mentioned, not surprising since it doesn't with the Roadster.

· · 5 years ago

Here is the procedure to clear the error. This is cut-and-paste from the second post in this thread:
If you determine that the 'Check EV System' message may be displayed because the vehicle driver used an incompatible charging station, the message can be cleared using the following procedure:
(Note: The 'Check EV System' message can be displayed for various reasons – check for other causes and codes before utilizing the clearing procedure outlined below.)

Disconnect the EVSE from the vehicle.
IG ON (with foot removed from brake pedal, press and release start button once, wait 1 second, press and release start button again).
Wait 10 seconds for the system to complete the start-up check.
IG OFF (with foot removed from brake pedal, press and release start button).
Wait 1 second.
Repeat steps 2-5 four times to clear the warning message. On the fourth IG-ON event, the warning message should no longer be displayed.

Contact TAS if issue is still present after this message clearing process.

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