Toyota Announces Retail Sale of EV in California

July 18, 1999 by Jeff Shepard

Toyota Motor Co. (Japan) announced that it will begin offering the electric version of its RAV4 sport-utility vehicle to retail customers in California beginning in February 2002.

Beginning in 2003, the California Air Resources Board zero-emissions vehicle mandate will take effect, requiring 10 percent of all new vehicles sold in California to meet low-emissions standards, with two percent qualified as zero-emission vehicles. With the introduction of the RAV4-EV to the retail market, Toyota stated that it will move toward compliance with this requirement.

The RAV4-EV is powered by a maintenance-free, permanent magnet motor, producing 50kW of power (equivalent to a 67HP gasoline engine). It has a top speed of 78mph and has a range of 80 to 100 miles per charge.

The RAV4-EV will have a manufacturers suggested retail price of $42,000, but a $9,000 incentive from the Air Resources Board and a $3,000 Internal Revenue Service credit will bring the price down to $30,000, which includes an in-home charging device.