2013 Toyota RAV4 EV

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)

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

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

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: