While Toyota has a reputation for cutting-edge technology, it is always a risk to use one of the best vehicles in your portfolio to expand your electric car range. That said, there is no doubt that the risks taken in producing the Toyota RAV4 EV have certainly paid major dividends for the company's reputation and also the electric vehicle sector as a whole.
Basic specifications of the Toyota RAV4 EV
Before we look at the handling of the new Toyota RAV4 EV, let us run through a number of the specifications which will interest you. The vehicle has a maximum speed of 85 mph in normal mode and 100 mph in sport mode. It is powered by the popular lithium ion type batteries and the battery package itself has been used to perfection by the designers to lower the car’s centre of gravity - which has improved the handling yet further.
The vehicle is 100% electric powered, therefore there are zero emissions and it is front wheel drive with electric power steering as you might expect. The dimensions of the car are as follows, height 66.3 inches, width 71.5 inches, length 180.1 inches, with a wheelbase of 61.4 inches. The car has a seating capacity of five and while the selection of batteries used to power the car take up a significant element of the 4032lb weight, it is still lighter than the traditional gas guzzling RAV4.
Charging times for Toyota RAV4 EV
Before we look at the charging times for the Toyota RAV4 EV, it is worth noting that the equivalent mpg is around 76 and the extended driving range is just over 100 miles. Depending upon the type of charging system in use, a full charge can take anywhere between 52 hours and five hours. This is most certainly a great improvement on the earlier electric vehicle charging times, although there is still further room for improvement as companies such as Toyota have recognised.
Driving the Toyota RAV4 EV
As we touched on above, sometimes it can be risky to introduce an electric vehicle version of one of your more popular models. However, despite various stigmas attached to the electric vehicle market in the past, this is a car which will do wonders for the industry itself and will certainly improve the reputation of Toyota going forward.
The lower centre of gravity, created by creative use of the battery pack, has improved what was already a very impressive driving experience. As you would expect from the latest electric vehicle, the car has more than its fair share of LED lights at the front, back, and various dashboard displays which will catch your attention. However many people have commented upon the fact that as soon as you put your foot onto the accelerator the car immediately responds, more so under the sport mode as opposed to the normal mode.
The body of the vehicle is very similar to that of the traditional RAV4, although it does seem to be more streamlined with a lower drag coefficient which assists with fuel efficiency and maximum journey capacity. The car is a dream to drive from start to finish; with smooth acceleration, very little in the way of sound (something which may well surprise many people used to gasoline cars) and it has certainly put the SUV on the electric car map. It will be interesting to see what Toyota tackles next with regards to the electric vehicle market and indeed whether they will convert any more of their award-winning designs.
There are a number of reviews of the Toyota RAV4 EV available across the Internet and the vast majority of them are very complimentary in their content. This has created significant interest in our Toyota RAV4 EV forum, where electricforum.com members have the opportunity to discuss their thoughts and their opinions on not only the Toyota RAV4 EV, but also other vehicles available to the market and general electric vehicle news.
These rave reviews of the Toyota RAV4 EV have certainly given the industry a boost and we wait with anticipation for the next move from Toyota and its fellow competitors as the electric vehicle market continues to expand around the world. Who knows what 2013 holds with regards to improvements in electric vehicle technology, but if 2012 is anything to go by then there are certainly some interesting times ahead.