Toyota Talks New Details On RAV4 EV In Video, Including Embedded “EV Noise” Signature

5 years ago by Inside EVs Staff 14

2013 Toyota RAV4 EV

Usually, when Toyota is bringing a new product to market, you hear almost nothing about the development of that vehicle.   Sometimes, as was the case with the plug-in Prius, a trip to the dealership was necessary to get a true feel for all the ‘ins and outs’ of a new product offering.

2013 Toyota RAV4 EV Interior (Dash Speedometer Turns Red In Sport Mode)

With the Toyota RAV4 EV, this is not the case.

Over the past couple months, Toyota has offered disclosures and behind the scenes stories reminiscent of the early days at Chevrolet with the Volt.  Toyota clearly is proud of this vehicle,  and is looking to tell as much of the behind the scenes story as it can.

In a new video just released by the company, Toyota talks about what went into converting the petrol RAV4 to an EV, and what extra features the customer would expect or might need of an electric vehicle.

Toyota takes us from exterior styling clues, to their own smartphone application that shows the driver how much range they have (or if they need a charge), to how all 3 high resolution displays are activated the moment the SUV’s doors open.  There is also a mini-tutorial on the RAV4 EV’s 8″ touch screen monitor.

Touch Sensitive Climate Control

Toyota has also added an “EV sound” to the vehicle, that quite frankly, we are not so sure was necessary.  For many EV owners, one of the benefits, or unique characteristics of an electric vehicle, is its ability to operate quietly.  It appears Toyota has taken that ability away.

Toyota Entune EV Smartphone App

Sheldon Brown, Executive Program Manager explains, “it was important for us to define that driving experience (sound)…do we want it to be silent?  We talked about that, and frankly speaking, when you drive a vehicle that is silent, its a bit eery, especially at first, you’re expecting some kind of audible response…so on this particular vehicle we set what the ‘EV noise’ signature should be.”

The EPA has just recently rated the Toyota RAV4 EV at 78 MPGE, with an electric range of 103 miles.  The SUV goes on sale September 24th, 2012, and Toyota is offering both 1.9% financing, or leases from $599* per month (all the specs and pricing details here).

Check out the video from Toyota below:

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14 responses to "Toyota Talks New Details On RAV4 EV In Video, Including Embedded “EV Noise” Signature"

  1. “it was important for us to define that driving experience (sound)…do we want it to be silent? We talked about that, and frankly speaking, when you drive a vehicle that is silent, its a bit eery, especially at first, your expecting some kind of audible response…so on this particular vehicle we set what the ‘EV noise’ signature should be.”

    I hate to be so blunt, but you are an idiot Sheldon. Then why do you and other auto manufacturers spend millions of dollars trying to make your luxury gas cars as quiet as possible? The exhaust rumble and engine for high performance sports cars can certainly add to the enjoyment of driving them, but for every day driving and commuting, the noise of the ICE powertrain is generally not welcomed. After driving electric for about four years now one of the great things I enjoy is how peaceful the cabin can be. How much better I hear the sound system and how relaxing it is driving home after work with the silky smooth drivetrain and peacefully quiet cabin.

    Why don’t we simulate the engine vibrations right up through the steering wheel also? Oh yeah, and while we’re at it lets install canisters of noxious, cancer causing fumes and slowly let them leak out of the back of the car as we drive around. Hey, now we’re on to something!

    1. Mark H says:

      I am betting they have worse than normal electric motor pitch and are trying to cover it up.

  2. Brian says:

    “It’s a bit eery, especially at first”. Ok, fair enough. But if you live with such a car, after less than a week, you start to notice other sounds. Children playing. Crickets chirping. Just the wind flowing over the car. And then you realize, “this isn’t eery….this is peaceful!”

  3. Bonaire says:

    I can hear my Volts engine-mounts creeking ever so slightly when I come to a stop and head off again. It’s nice to have very little engine noise.

    I wonder if the original ICE car drivers remembered when they used to ride their horses? Mostly silent, little bit of breathing heavily and some hoof noises.

    Maybe these guys have to grow up a little bit and give up thinking cars should make “vroom vroom” noises as a normal thing. Some day, we will see little kids pushing cars around the carpet making “shhhhhhhhh” noises rather than loud “vroom vrooms”. 🙂

  4. Kelly Olsen says:

    I agree, huge misstep on Toyota’s part along with another mistake which is only having a 3.3 charger. I was eagerly waiting for this car but paying 50K for an EV that takes much longer to charge than lower cost competitors takes it of the list of possible purchases. Disappointing.

  5. GeorgeS says:

    They did not say HOW they created the noise signature. A teeny bit of natural electric motor noise is actually enjoyable. I can hear it in my Volt. However, piped in RECORDED “EV Signature” sounds is really silly in my book.

  6. Mike-o-Matic says:

    At low speeds, the Volt is so quiet, it’s uncanny. And… it’s truly a marvelous trait.

    Toyota is not using their heads by adding a synthetic noise. Sounds like the bad choice of an EV-inexperienced committee, or misguided manager somewhere. It would be a pointless step backward for EVs.

    If they go through with it, I sure hope there’s a clippable wire somewhere…

  7. Nelson says:

    Adding noise to a car is a big mistake.
    Deal breaker!

    NPNS!
    Volt#671

  8. MrEnergyCzar says:

    Not having Silent driving is a deal breaker. Unless it sounds like Bladerunner or the Jetsons….maybe they’ll make it optional…

    Make it 4WD and sell it nationwide.

    MrEnergyCzar

  9. Nicole says:

    I thought there was legislation in progress to require EVs have a audible sound for pedestrians at crosswalks-some kind of safety feature. Not saying it’s necessary, just the reason for the addition.

    1. MrEnergyCzar says:

      I think here they are talking about the sound inside the cabin….

      MrEnergyCzar

  10. Bob Seldon says:

    “Noise signature” is a BIG turn-off for me and likely to be a deal killer. I hope that Toyota is smart enough to permit it be easily disabled.

  11. Stuart22 says:

    Shades of the pioneer days for the motor car, when having somebody walk in front of a horseless carriage waving a warning flag was thought necessary by some myopic types of the era.

    Wonder if Faux News will be on the side of anti-needless liberal-loving government intrusion with this, might be problematic for them considering their usual anti-EV spinjobs.

  12. Walt says:

    I don’t care if you put an engine noise on the car as long as you install a switch to turn it off.