For the sake of argument, let's posit that a Mitsubishi i is too odd looking for your tastes, a Nissan Leaf is still a bit too compact, and that your idea of a perfect battery-powered vehicle is something crossover-shaped. Well, you're in luck because the Toyota-Tesla Motors partnership is set to release its RAV4 EV in early 2012, right? Well, yes, and, in some critical ways, no.

Why? Well, unless you operate a fleet or a car-sharing program, chances are good that you won't be able to buy a RAV4 EV. According Pike Research, Geri Yoza, Toyota's National Business Planning Manager of Advanced Vehicle Marketing, has gone on record saying that while the electric-only RAV4 will indeed make its comeback (a first-gen version was first sold some 15 years ago), the electrified CUV won't be made available to the general public. Instead, Yoza says, Toyota will focus on "very strategic applications" (read: fleets and car-sharing programs) for the RAV4 EV.

Despite being a electric vehicle that could benefit from quick charging, Yoza says the RAV4 EV will not come equipped with a CHAdeMO charging port, stating that Toyota will not offer a quick-charge setup on any of its electrified vehicles until the SAE finalizes a standard.

Let's hope that Yoza's admission is slightly inaccurate and that Toyota will eventually sell the RAV4 EV to the public. Otherwise, the only electric CUV on the market in 2012 will be one that folks like us can't even buy.

UPDATE: Instead of using the strikeout feature in this entire post, here's an update direct from Pike Research: "Toyota called to clarify that the vehicle that will only be sold to fleets is the Scion iQ EV, not the RAV4 EV as we were previously told." So, um, yeah.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 8 Comments
      tenspeeder
      • 3 Years Ago
      Makes sense to work out the bugs and then introduce it to the general public after Toyota launches an updated RAV4.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @tenspeeder
        The bugs were already worked out over a decade ago. People are still driving the original Rav4 EVs and the folks who i know have one love the thing..
          Synthono
          • 3 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          It would be using different battery tech. The old RAV4 EV would have used NiMH batteries which are no longer purchasable - take it up with Chevron, not Toyota, Chevron controls the patent. The new electrics mostly use Li-ION.
        Synthono
        • 3 Years Ago
        @tenspeeder
        That's what I was thinking as well. The RAV4 is definitely due for an update, if I was Toyota I'd use the current one for powertrain testing in fleets - a nice real world situation - and then wait until the new one before selling it to real people.
      Júlio Molchan
      • 3 Years Ago
      Oh...what a shame. I'm gonna miss it.
      Synthono
      • 3 Years Ago
      I wonder, is it possible that the consumer RAV4 EV will not be called the RAV4 EV? Apart from Toyota likely doing a redesign of the range fairly soon - so I assume this model is mostly for powertrain testing in a real world environment - they're also doing the whole Prius brand for their green models - currently just the hybrids. If a consumer level electric crossover is introduced, I wonder if they'll give it a different look and Prius branding, to fit their branding plans.
      soundbargaming
      • 3 Years Ago
      Weird. Just sell em.