The best-selling SUV will soon have a much-needed plug-in hybrid option and it will be the most powerful RAV4 ever offered.
Those familiar with EV history know that Toyota has twice offered full battery-electric versions of the RAV4. The first version was available from 1997 to 2003 when Toyota made 1,484 copies. Then, from 2012 to 2014, Toyota brought back and all-electric RAV4 and produced 2,600 of them. That time, the powertrain was provided by Tesla. In both cases, Toyota made the vehicles explicitly to comply with California's ZEV mandate, so they made a minimum amount and only offered them in the Golden State.
The news doesn't come as a complete surprise to us since there have recently been sightings of plug-in RAV4s circulating the interwebs in recent months.
From the press release:
Toyota teased today what will become the most powerful RAV4 yet – the 2021 RAV4 plug-in. Bringing with it a new color, Supersonic Red, the teaser image of the RAV4 plug-in highlights the new PHV’s surprising performance capabilities. Unlike any other, the new RAV4 Plug-in will be celebrated by its spirited acceleration, nimble handling and impeccable style.
Toyota will debut the Toyota RAV4-plugin during the Los Angeles Auto Show media days, on November 20, 2019 at the Toyota booth in South Hall at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
The previous all-electric RAV4s were very popular and there are still many on the road today. Most of which are still in California, but some have found homes in other states, and a few have even been exported to other countries. While we wish Toyota would have made this version all-electric as they have with the two previous generations, if the all-electric range of this PHEV model is substantial, we think there could be a robust demand for it.
Unfortunately, at this time we don't have critical information like battery size, charging speed and all-electric range. Toyota has said they will release more information at the RAV4 PHEV formal introduction during the LA Auto Show next month. We'll be there to report all the specifications and technical details as soon as they become available.