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OUCH! Toyota RAV4 EV Starts Over $50K

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On: Thu, May 10, 2012 at 12:30PM | By: Chris Weiss

OUCH! Toyota RAV4 EV Starts Over $50K

As promised, Toyota debuted its RAV4 EV at the 2012 Electric Vehicles Symposium this week. If you were awaiting the RAV4 EV with high hopes that it would give you an intriguing electric option with more space and utility than the tiny city cars that currently carry electric powertrains, you had better have a decent bank account. The RAV4 EV will start at $50,610 (including delivery) when it goes on sale this summer.

Given the high premium demanded by electric vehicles, we're not entirely surprised at the high price of the RAV4 EV. Still, that price looks much more Lexus than Toyota and is more than double the price of the gas-powered RAV4. Toyota doesn't even mention an all-wheel-drive option, so while the RAV4 EV may be the "only all-electric SUV on the market," it won't really be a proper SUV and won't have the same utility or all-conditions driving capability. It's basically another "twice the price for half the car" EV.

While the RAV4 is too expensive for a lot of buyers, it does offer one of the more intriguing electric packages on the market. With its 154-hp Tesla powertrain, Toyota claims that it can perform head to head with the V-6 RAV4, including a 7.0-second 0-to-60 mph time and a 100 mph top speed. Despite the addition of a battery pack, Toyota claims the same 73 cu ft cargo capacity as the gas model.

Toyota has linked up with Leviton for its charging equipment. With the 240V charger, the RAV4 charges in about six hours. The car's estimated range is the all too recognizable 100 miles that other manufacturers like Nissan and Ford list for their EVs. The RAV4 EV has two driving modes: Sport, which provides the performance specs listed above (presumably for less range), and Normal, which cuts performance down to 85 mph and 8.6 seconds to 60 mph.

The RAV4 EV wears a slight style revision from its gas-powered older brother. Toyota redesigned the front bumper, upper and lower grill, side mirrors, rear spoiler, and underbody. It also added LED low beam projector lamps with halogen high beams, LED daytime running lamps and LED tail lamps. The EV will be offered in Blizzard White Pearl, Shoreline Blue Pearl and Classic Silver Metallic.

Inside, the RAV4 EV gets features like six-way adjustable seats, an 8-inch touchscreen-based Toyota Entune infotainment system (and three-year complimentary access to Entune services) and Neutron fabric seat inserts and trim.

The RAV4 EV will launch in four California markets - Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles/Orange County and San Diego - in late summer. Toyota recognizes that it will be a low-volume vehicle, citing early technology adopters as its bread and butter. It expects sales to be a fraction of other plug-ins, estimating about 2,600 vehicles over the first three years.

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