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Anyone have any info on why Toyota yanked the Rav4 EV? Were sales less than expected, or was it a matter of infrastructure problems? Or, there has been rumor of some charging mishaps (fires, etc.).

Any insight (no pun intended)?
 

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Toyota states, on their website, that the Rav4 EV was discontinued because of low sales, which is interesting, :cry: since they only sold it in California yet had a waiting list of people who wanted the vehicle. This is very similar to GM with the EV2 and Ford with the Th!nk. They limited the area that the vehicles were available and then complained that sales were low. I have read that there were also waiting lists for the EV2 and the Th!nk vehicles so I don't think that low sales was the real reason

I think that the real reason is that they were not making any money on the electric vehicles, and once California started backing off on the requirements for EV sales, they decided to call it quits and say that it was a failure.

In the case of the Rav4 EV, they were using the older model body/frame to make the EV version and they were near the end of their supply. I read that it would have been expensive to convert the newer model to be an EV so that probably had a lot to do with the discontinuation.
 

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:( Not only the Toyota, but EVERY mass-produced ev in the United States. All are gone now. The only exceptions are the ICE powered cars that have been converted to electrics by car enthusiests and small conversion companies. As a matter of fact, General Motors called all of their electrics back off of lease and DESTROYED EVERY ONE OF THEM.

Why did this happen? Ask the oil interests, especially those in positions of power in our own government. :cry:
 

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General Motors called all of their electrics back off of lease and DESTROYED EVERY ONE OF THEM.
Yeah, they had protests and wakes here over that.

I suspect the reason originates in lawyers' offices. You could sell people the cars and have them sign liability releases, but you could still get your butt sued if a battery leaked or someone got electrocuted monkeying around with it, say, to make it work after official maintenance was cut off.

Just my guess.

Jan
 

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The Rav4EV were merely put to market USA in CA so each manufacturer
who produced and marketed the EV were given "Great Tax Incentives"
to those manufacturers that invest or lost a quantative money propagating these _Non-Money_makers_
Toyota had to comply with just a few hundread units.

Either a lease or purchase to the end consumers. I have myself sold or leased a dozen or so of the Rav4EV. The consumers were getting over $30K ? of tax credit or rebate over the 36 months do not remember clearly if you leased or financed the Rav4EV's.

OK it came back to me, If you were to finance the RAV4 EV's you got the Tax Credit. Leased vehicles were not qualified. Also the "Quota" of the Rav4 EV for Toyota marque, were mere 200 units then Toyota were given full "Corporate Tax Break" Therefore no need to continue selling those vehicles.
 

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All true..

The Rav4EV was "yanked" just like every other EV was yanked. As soon as the vehicles were no longer required under the CA ZEV mandate, the cars were no longer available. In Toyota's case, the program stopped ONE DAY after the mandate was crushed. My order went in two days before that. Whew.

http://www.darelldd.com/ev/rav.htm

Of course GM went the extra mile and crushed all the EV1's that didn't make it to universities or museums. The Ravs were being crushed too, as they came off lease. But we put a stop to that, and now they're being resold or at least kept for parts.
 

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C.Rickey Hirose said:
The consumers were getting over $30K ? of tax credit or rebate over the 36 months do not remember clearly if you leased or financed the Rav4EV's
Uh... no. The incentives brought the price down to about $33k. But the car had to initially be purchased at $42k, and taxes paid on that... and then we had to sign up for, and wait for the various incentives. The whole process took about three years and was pretty darn confusing!
 

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iluvelectrics said:
:( Not only the Toyota, but EVERY mass-produced ev in the United States. All are gone now.
Well, no. They're not all "gone" - they just aren't offered new any more. I purchased my Rav4, so nobody can take it back. And I also own a Ranger EV. The EV1 I had, has unfortunately met an utimely demise.

Lots of pics of them if interested: http://www.darelldd.com/ev/

(same link as in my sig).
 

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Hi Clett -

Thanks for the nice words on the site.

Those guys are still going strong, and want to make a market for solar auto like that. They're actually looking for early adopters who want to test it. They say that they see a 10% gain in fuel economy... but I'm skeptical at best. This thin panels are quite inefficient!
 

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Hi Darell,

I agree that with small inefficient solar cells it's just a waste of time!

But I do also think that they could be onto something if they go with really efficient cells, like Sunpower A300 etc.

These are 20% efficient and in somewhere sunny like California that averages 6 kWh per m2 per day of incident sunshine, they could recover up to 1.2 kWh per day per m2 of roof cells.

From the picture you've shown, that looks like they've got maybe 2.5 m2 of cells on the roof? Could be good for 3 kWh per day which is too much for the Prius battery to store, but would otherwise be enough for about 15 miles per day in EV mode. On a 30 mile per day commute it could cut gas usage in half.

Not quite as efficient as your solar -> RAV4 setup though! Very envious indeed! 8)
 

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Yes, the Sunpower panels are nice... but not flexible! I think the hit from air drag from having a couple of flat panels up there would negate any benefit! Now flat panes *could* be Frenched into the roof of the Rav, I suppose - but not something like the swoopy Prius roof.

There's the rub, I'm afraid.
 

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The reason the Rav4 EV was discontinued was because of cost and battery issues. $42,000. Plus Toyota needed the manpower to develop new hybrid technology. The Rav4 had gone to a new body style. Most of the people on the waiting list would back out once they found out the total cost.
 

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Jeffand said:
The reason the Rav4 EV was discontinued was because of cost and battery issues. $42,000. Plus Toyota needed the manpower to develop new hybrid technology. The Rav4 had gone to a new body style. Most of the people on the waiting list would back out once they found out the total cost.
And you get this information from where? The "hybrid" technology was developed alongside the battery tech, and the hybrid technology is as good as it is BECAUSE of the battery tech.

I'm sorry... none of this rings true. Battery issues? Which issues were those? The fact that the batteries are lasting well over 150k miles when most folks assume they'll last about 30k? Regarding the new body style... that style was released two years before the retail program even began!

There were many reasons the program was terminated. These are them, however.
 

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mrv said:
darelldd said:
Battery issues? Which issues were those?
My understanding is that there were some political issues regarding inductive vs. conductive chargers, and the Rav4EV wasn't using the preferred charger...
Wow. That's a new one. There were politics involved in charger choice early on, as the various auto makers duked it out. But that was mostly GM, and Toyota just followed GM's lead. Most production EVs (including the Rav) started life as conductive cars, and ended as inductive. But none of this has anything to do with the program ending, that's for sure!

Fact of the matter is that there are more small paddle inductive chargers in CA than all the other types combined.... the the Rav uses the most available one.
 

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I should of been more clear about the battery issue. The battery pack that was used quite expensive. This was the single most expensive part of the electric drive system. And yes with proper care the battery pack can last a long time. Thier have been failures in the battery packs on Rav4 EV unfortunatly. Just like thier have been failures with the Prius battery packs. On the Prius this is a rare event. The question is what was the incident rate for this type of failure on the Rav4. The conversion process was one at time conversion. Not a assemble line production. This contributes to large sticker price. The battery packs them selves were not made in high volume. 1249 Rav4's were produced total. And I think that Toyota didn't want to eat the cost of an other redesign of the Rav4 for the new body style. While the new Prius sales are over 50,000 units anually. Toyota was selling the Prius at loss. But near the end of first year of sales they starting turning a profit. It was because of high manufacturing volume this happened. The Rav4 did not have this going for it. Plus the cost of maintaining parts for such a low volume production vehicle. This is one the reasons why some manufactures crushed thier electric cars. The other was so could write off the cost of the project more quickly.
 

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Jeffand said:
I should of been more clear about the battery issue. The battery pack that was used quite expensive.
Yup. Quite true. Doing the "right thing" often costs more money. At least at first. Certainly easier and cheaper to keep making gas cars in the short term - as all car makers will tell you.

Thier have been failures in the battery packs on Rav4 EV unfortunatly.
Of course. But not even a significant amount! There are failures of IC engines as well, but we sure keep building those! :)

The question is what was the incident rate for this type of failure on the Rav4.
Very, very low. The car makers would LOVE to parade this number around, but alas, there isn't much of a number to parade!

The conversion process was one at time conversion.
They were hand assembled, yes. No other way to cost-effectively make just over 1000 units. They'd obviously be MUCH cheaper in mass production, but we never got there, so we have a bit of chicken-and-egg thing going on here! And just for the sake of accuracy - these were NOT conversions in any sense of the word. That Rav gliders were produced to be built out with gas or battery power. They were built from the glider up as either gas or electric, nothing was "converted."

1249 Rav4's were produced total.
My count shows 1288. Close enough, certainly.

While the new Prius sales are over 50,000 units anually.
Ain't that grand!? Shows what mass production AND marketing will do for you. If the Rav had enjoyed the same, it would have been interesting to see what the market really would have been like. As it was, two years worth of Rav4EV "production" was sold/leased in just eight months - with little to no advertising, zero trim options, old body style, huge sticker price and a total TWO color choices! Amazing.

It was because of high manufacturing volume this happened. The Rav4 did not have this going for it. Plus the cost of maintaining parts for such a low volume production vehicle.
But wait. You're saying here that the Rav4EV production was stopped because Toyota only made a limited number, and therefor could only sell a limited number, and therefor the market was really small? How does that make sense? They created this little tiny "market" and then blame that small market for the demise of the program!

This is one the reasons why the some manufactures crushed thier electric cars. The other was so could write off the cost of the project more quickly.
There are WAY more politics invloved here, but certainly these are some of the many reasons we don't have EVs today.

So one wonders why all the makers are pretending to WANT to produce Fuel Cell vehicles, if EVs were too darn expensive and hard to do...
 

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Electric car

It seems to me you don't understand the economics of manufacturing.

The actual cost of Rav4 I would estimat was double sticker price. This is when you calculate in the research and development cost, plus the increased cost of low volume parts run. So manufacture has to recover this investment by money earned from sales. Less sales results in A higher sticker price. This why a exotic sports cars cost so much. When GM has it's parts made the cost of design is spread over 1,000,000 vehicles.
At such high volume levels parts manufactures give big discounts. Plus it's required by law that auto manufactures have to supply parts for years later. I think it's in the area of 10 years or more. So Toyota is on the hook to supply parts for only about 1200 vehicles. If parts run out, then they have to make more of that part. Thier are a lot of unique parts on the Rav4. So this is increased cost. This does not make a lot of sence to do the samething all over again for the new body style.

If the sum of cost of all parts is greater than the sticker price. Then the result is a loss for the company.
The reason the Rav4 was created was so that Toyota could continue to sell vehicles in California. Once the laws were changed thier was no reason to continue making the Rav4. Besides Toyota could get more Hybrids on the road than Rav4s. The result was that this had a much bigger environmental impact.

When you say skate boards. When Toyota made the car bodys they made a special run. Meaning that normal production was shut down. Parts like engine and fuel systems were deleted. Some body panel were different. And a different suppention was installed.

It would be nice if Toyota did offer an all electric car. You may get your wish. In the form of a plug in hybrid. This is most likely 2 to 3 years away.
Then transition to a all electric car in the next 3 years. Now this is only guess.

But one thing is for sure. It's because of the high demand for hybrids that a lot of renewed interest in batteries has occured. Major improvements in storage capacity have happened because of this. Now all we have to do is hope that cost can come down, and they move into massproduction.
 
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