Time Has Run Out For The Toyota RAV4 EV


Three years ago, Tesla Motors and Toyota struck a deal to produce 2,600 battery-powered RAV4 EVs. The last of those electric crossovers has arrived in California to fulfill the deal, reports InsideEVs and with Toyota committing to its hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, there are no plans to replace the RAV4 EV anytime soon.

That means that this could be your last chance to get a fresh and new Toyota RAV4 EV, possibly forever. Though not without their problems, the 103-mile rated driving range per charge and $50,000 MSRP (though incentives made it much cheaper) make it more versatile and affordable than many other EVs. As InsideEVs reports though, 2,130 of the 2,600 have already been sold or leased, and a few of the remaining models may already be earmarked by Toyota for other purposes. That leaves as little as 300 RAV4 EVs left to be had.

Will Toyota pull a GM move and crush the leased models it gets back? Perhaps, though unlike GM, Toyota did sell a few RAV4 EVs, though it does nothing to support buyers who live outside of California, the only place you could actually buy the electric crossover. Toyota and Tesla’s differing cultures also clashed over development of the RAV4 EV, which some speculate led to the split.

It’s a double shame because there doesn’t seem to be any cars on the horizon that will replace it. The Tesla Model X is an order of magnitude more expensive with an estimated starting price well into the $70,000 range, and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV still relies on a gas engine for longer distances. Other than that though? Automakers have put almost no effort into the two segments (electric and crossovers) that are among the fastest growing in both the US and Europe.

The RAV4 EV had the potential to be so much more than Toyota let it be, and I think that’s the biggest shame of all.

Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.