A battery-electric plug-in vehicle is the top green car to own, according to the Auto Club of Southern California. The Toyota RAV4 EV topped the list in the Club’s “2013 Green Car Guide: Plugged Into the Future,” published yesterday. Hybrids took nine out of the top ten slots, however.
As PluginCars.com previously reported, Toyota is offering dramatic discounts on the RAV4 EV all-electric crossover SUV. Sales of the vehicle have been meager, so the implied message is that consumers aren’t interested in the RAV4 EV. A few weeks ago, I drove the car again—through a one-week loan from Toyota—and I was just as blown away as my two previous times behind the wheel. Frankly, I don’t understand why the RAV4 EV isn’t the most sought-after EV on the market.
My fellow owners of the RAV4 EV occasionally discuss how much money the electric vehicle costs Toyota to sell in California. If Toyota wants to continue selling cars in California, the company must either sell 2,600 cars through 2014—to earn California Air Resources Board - Zero Emission Vehicle (CARB-ZEV) credits—or buy credits on the open market. But is it cheaper for Toyota to cut its losses now, and just buy credits instead of delivering more RAV4 EVs?
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