Like Honda has already discovered with its Fit EV, just because you are building a limited run compliance car for emissions regulations does not mean you can price it anyway you want and it will sell.
Toyota is looking to building out 2,600 of the 103 mile (EPA) electric RAV4 EVs over the next 3 years, and they figured that customers would be willing to pay $49,800 for the little SUV.
New Promotional Pricing In Effect Until January 7th, 2013
Unfortunately, despite a strong initial showing of over 60 cars sold in the first few weeks, Toyota now sells about 30 a month (32 in November), and at that rate it will take them to around 2020 to sell them all.
Those results will do little to satisfy CARB long term, let alone get in their numbers for 2012 ZEV (zero emission vehicles) credits.
Enter the discounts!
Toyota is offering a $5,000 cash back program along with 0% financing and a $2,500 loyalty program (that most are unlikely to receive).
This new money can be of course combined with the $7,500 federal credit, and the $2,500 in California state incentives. A customer could be saving up to $17,500 in total off the RAV4EV, making a very attractive net cost of $32,300.
All these discounts mean the RAV4 EV that was originally available for lease at $599 a month can now be owned for less per month (based on 60 months). We expected Toyota to be rewarded with brisk sales in December.
If interested, you can check out the offer yourself at Buyatoyota.com
Both Toyota and Honda Have Learned The Hard Way That Limited Run Compliance Cars Still Have To Be Priced Competitively To Sell (click to enlarge)