Are you ready to pony up nearly $50,000 for the Tesla Motors influenced RAV4 EV? Toyota hopes you are, as yesterday it finally unveiled the highly anticipated, all-electric SUV at the 26th annual Electric Vehicle Symposium in Los Angeles. Price for the vehicle specifically is $49,800, which can be pushed downwards with tax credits.
Toyota said the RAV4 EV will offer drivers a range of approximately 100 miles and a charging time of around six hours on a 240V/40A charger. It will go on-sale initially in four California markets – Sacramento, San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles/Orange County and San Diego – in late summer, and the automaker projects sales volume over the next three years to be around 2,600 models sold.
Now the nearly $50,000 sticker shock will fade for some when the $10,000 in tax credits are applied, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, which could make it a little more competitive with other EV offerings such as the Nissan Leaf and Ford Focus Electric.
But what exactly do you get for $39,800? Its maker, for starters, says this electric vehicle “combines a Tesla designed and produced battery and electric powertrain with Toyota’s most popular SUV model.” Considering the base price for the 22/28 MPG 2012 model RAV4 is $22,600, it will definitely be an early adopter focus the electric version looks to go after.
As Forbes states so eloquently in its headline “In RAV4 EV, Toyota Has Luxury Of Not Caring If You Buy One,” the vehicle could really just be a niche product for some time to come. Considering this is one of the first true mainstream attempts at an all-electric vehicle that isn’t a car, is this the right strategy for Toyota to take? Could it quickly capture dominate market share in a nascent EV SUV market that has possible pent up consumer demand? A quote from Bob Carter, group vice president and general manager of the Toyota division, offers some possible insight:
“We believe that the RAV4 EV will attract sophisticated early technology adopters, much like the first-generation Prius,” said Carter. “It’s designed for consumers who prioritize the environment and appreciate performance. We look forward to seeing how the market responds.”
Toyota said the RAV4 EV “allows drivers to select from two distinctly different drive modes,” one of which allows for the vehicle to go 0-60 mph in 7.0 seconds, with a maximum speed of 100 mph. The other option puts the vehicle at 0-60 mph in 8.6 seconds, with a maximum speed of 85 mph. Maximum output from the electric powertrain is 154 HP (115kW) @ 2,800 rpm.