Toyota Wraps Up Production of RAV4 EV

By · September 29, 2014

Toyota RAV4 EV

The Toyota RAV4 EV, the only all-electric SUV available anywhere in the United States, this month reached the conclusion of its limited production run. According to, all 2,600 planned models of the vehicle have been produced and shipped, with only approximately 300 units remaining to be sold or leased.

The story of the 2012 RAV4 EV represented the melding of two disparate corporate cultures—Toyota, as the conservative Japanese automotive giant, and Tesla, the disruptive California start-up. It commenced in May 2010, when Elon Musk, Tesla’s chief executive, and Akio Toyoda, CEO of Toyota, announced the project in California, with then-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger presiding.

Toyota said it was seeking to gain inspiration from Tesla’s entrepreneurial spirit. The RAV4 EV was only sold in select markets in California.

The heart and soul of the RAV4 EV is an electric drivetrain from Tesla Motors. By virtue of its collaboration with Tesla, Toyota transformed its sedate Toyota utility wagon into a high-riding two-ton beast. Moreover, its 41.8-kWh battery pack—providing about 120 miles of real-world range—leads all other EVs, except for the significantly pricier Tesla Model S.

In Sport Mode, the electric RAV goes from 0-60 in about seven seconds, and zooms to a maximum speed of 100 mph. The Sport mode provides 154 horsepower. Its 273 pound-feet of torque, which often produces tire chirp at launch, is cut to a calmer 218 pound-feet when operating in Normal mode. While the Sport Mode is great for a burst of highway passing power, when launching from stop and stomping your foot on the accelerator, the vehicle's body rises and dips and the steering wiggles left and right. When pushed to its limits, the Tesla system overpowers the capabilities of the Toyota vehicle platform.

Inside’s reported that about 2,533 RAV4 EVs are in circulation, with the remaining 67 as display or test vehicles.

Buyers interested in the vehicle will need to move fast to find a remaining unit, or keep an eye on the used market. With the end of the RAV4 EV run, Toyota will no longer offer an all-electric car, and consumers wanting an electric SUV will have to wait for the upcoming expensive luxury Tesla Model X. Mitsubishi produces a plug-in hybrid version of its Outlander, but its arrival to the United States market remains uncertain.

Future maintenance of the Toyota RAV4 EV is also questionable. Service for the platform can be handled like any Toyota vehicle. But it’s not yet entirely clear how owners will obtain service and parts –such as battery cells and controllers—for the Tesla powertrain.


· · 3 years ago

Toyota killed the electrical car?

· · 3 years ago

Just got off the phone with Kevin Spillane, Toyota Customer rep for the Rav4EV. We had a long discussion on out-of-state servicing, and what Toyota will do for us, and what they won't do for us.

It breaks down to 3 scenarios.

1) "Toyota Customer Care"... 5K 10K checkups etc. Not covered outside of CA authorized dealers. I've already been down this road with my 5k at my local dealer... 5K performed, then denied by Toyota. No matter what your dealer tells you, it won't be covered under "Toyota Customer Care"

2) Ev drivetrain problems, mostly Tesla stuff. Not covered outside of CA authorized dealers.

3) Good news, Toyota is willing to help out-of-state'er for some non EV drivetrain failures like my co-workers failed heater on a "case by case basis". They have an authorized field engineer coming to a local dealer to perform the work. It has nothing to do with the dealer themselves, it's just a place to work on the car.

It's nice to hear there is some flexibility with Toyota's warranty support for out-of-state owners. That heater repair is over $3000 in parts alone, so it gives me a little peace of mind. I'm still prepared to ship to CA for big stuff... 10,000 miles so far and zero issues.

· · 3 years ago

Boy, I feel for those who export the Rav4 out of CA. There is a gentleman in Ithaca, NY who just got his Rav4 EV. He's loving the extra space/range compared to a Leaf, but I sure hope he doesn't have many problems with it. Shipping the car back and forth to CA from NY would certainly undo any savings in fuel and emissions over an efficient hybrid.

· · 3 years ago

Toyota said it was seeking to gain inspiration from Tesla’s entrepreneurial spirit? Very funny!!!!

· · 3 years ago

We got ours a few weeks ago (after 3 year Leaf lease) and coming up on 2k miles. The only issue was a sticky charge-port door release. The local dealership fixed it - I'd guess it's the same as the gas version.

The car is very nice. It must have cost Toyota a few hundred million for the program putting the cost of our car in the several hundred thousand range. Thanks, we're enjoying it.

The practical range accounting for 80% charging, reserve, HVAC is almost double the Leaf. In normal driving cycle of 40-50 miles/day we are charging every other day. The Leaf is a bit more quiet and refined as it was designed from the ground up as aan EV. I'd agree with the comments made by the author about driving characteristics.

New to EVs? Start here

  1. Seven Things To Know About Buying a Plug-In Car
    A few simple tips before you visit the dealership.
  2. Incentives for Plug-in Hybrids and Electric Cars
    Take advantage of credits and rebates to reduce EV costs.
  3. Buying Your First Home EV Charger
    You'll want a home charger. Here's how to buy the right one.