Toyota RAV4 EV Coming Week Of September 24

$49,800. The week of September 24, 2012. Only in California. Those are the three big takeaways you need to know regarding the forthcoming release of the highly anticipated all electric RAV4 SUV from Toyota. Oh, and it will be available for purchase through an optional leasing program as well.

From a partnership with luxury electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors first announced in May of 2010 that quickly evolved into word of development of a RAV4 with a Tesla electric power train, buzz has been building steadily for the pending release of this electric vehicle. Toyota formally unveiled the SUV at the 26th annual Electric Vehicle Symposium in Los Angeles earlier this year, with its nearly $50,000 sticker shock setting in quickly for some – us included – as we wondered if the RAV4 EV would quickly price itself out of the growing market for green cars.

Toyota RAV4 EV

image via Toyota

Now it should be noted the RAV4 EV, according to Toyota, is expected to qualify for a $2,500 rebate through the Clean Vehicle Rebate Program in California and also is eligible for a $7,500 Federal Tax Credit. This, coupled with qualification for the California High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane white sticker program, could help ease said sticker shock for many – we hope.

With regards to the previously mentioned leasing program as well as financing, Toyota laid out the details as such: special purchase financing of 1.9 percent APR is available for qualified customers, as well as a 36 month lease option at $599 per month with $3,499 drive off. The company doesn’t seem to expect a huge run on the RAV4 EV when it releases, as it has a planned sales volume of only 2,600 units through 2014.

Toyota is working with electric vehicle supplier equipment provider Leviton for charger options. These choices will include a custom 240V (Level 2), 40A, 9.6 kW output charging station for the shortest charge time of approximately six hours. The RAV4 EV will come equipped with a 120V (Level 1) 12A charging cable for instances when the recommended 240V (Level 2) charging is not available.

Driving specifications of the Toyota RAV4 EV include an EPA rated range of 103 miles, 78 city miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe), 74 highway MPGe and 76 combined MPGe. The vehicle will offer the option for 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.

Toyota RAV4 EV interior

image via Toyota

Interior creature comforts, according to Toyota, include a six-way adjustable driver’s seat with variable front seat heaters; split reclining rear seats with folding center arm rest; a total cargo capacity equivalent to the conventional RAV4 of 73 cu. ft.; and an eight-inch capacitive touch screen for  navigation, telematics, and EV drive information and settings designed specifically for this SUV.

As we’ve said before, we love the idea of electric cars in general, but hoped as well this vehicle might be more geared towards a general audience. How do you feel this EV will fare? Leave us your thoughts in the comments below.

I am the editor-in-chief and founder for EarthTechling. This site is my desire to bring the world of green technology to consumers in a timely and informative matter. Prior to this my previous ventures have included a strong freelance writing career and time spent at Silicon Valley start ups.

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