Toyota RAV4 EV Has Strongest Debut Of Any Battery Electric Vehicle: 61 Electric SUVs Sold In September

OCT 5 2012 BY STAFF 8

The Toyota RAV4 EV is not going to set any long term records.  But it has at least one.

2013 Toyota RAV4 EV - 44 Hours To Charge From a 120v Outlet

The fact is that Toyota is not interesting in sell anymore than the 2,200 it has stated it needed to satisfy emissions regulations (CARB) in the United States.  It should be noted that the company has said it may revisit that decision if demand is high enough.

Despite only going on sale on September 24th, the car set the high water mark for pure electric vehicle sales in its first month with 61 copies being delivered to consumers. 

Naturally, Toyota is quite pleased with its first week of sales, but doesn’t expect to be able to keep up that pace very long.

The RAV4 EV is for sale for $49,800 (before rebate), which is quite pricey compared to the standard RAV4, and other EVs on the market.  However, Toyota is already offering attractive financing and a $599 lease plan to move them more quickly.

The electric SUV has just been given a 103 mile range rating by the EPA, with a blended overall 76 MPGe fuel efficiency figure.

Just for fun, here is the current inaugural month sales leaders in the USA:

  1. Toyota RAV4 EV – 61
  2. Nissan LEAF – 19
  3. Tesla Model S – 10
  4. Honda Fit EV – 7
  5. Ford Focus Electric – 6
  6. Mitsubishi i-MiEV –  4
  7. Coda Sedan – 2

Also of interest in the extended range plug-in segment is the Chevrolet Volt at 326, and the Toyota Prius plug-in at 891.


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

Categories: Chevrolet, General, Nissan, Toyota

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8 Comments on "Toyota RAV4 EV Has Strongest Debut Of Any Battery Electric Vehicle: 61 Electric SUVs Sold In September"

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Obviously the first month sales were constrained by lack of supply for most of the above vehicles. I wonder how many LEAF’s would have sold in the first month if it was available in every state and had an ample supply – like how gas cars are normally launched. I believe Tesla could have also sold thousands of Model S’s if they had them built and ready to deliver to customers. The Volt was only available in six or seven states at launch. I’m sure the lack of supply hurt the others too, but to a much lesser degree.

Yep. Look at how strong the Prius plugin launched. Toyota doesn’t mess around when they launch a vehicle. Or they hold back deliveries a bit so that dealers get stock more evenly.

I believe they’ll sell it nationwide despite banking everything on their hybrids…it might just be a few years…


They won’t sell this outside California, since they reportedly LOSE $10k on every one. Maybe, if they take the electric hardware to the factory in Canada and assemble the cars in house (instead of Tesla doing it).

Jay – I heard that the RAV4 EV is assembled in Ontario. Do you know if the compete vehicle is assembled here? or are they delivering gliders to Cali? Could it be that fully electric RAV4s are rolling down the 401 and we can’t buy them?

If they only made enough and didn’t make people jump through hoops to get one… When I went to the dealership they asked me to come back because the only Hybrid/Specialist doesn’t work on Sundays and nobody else new anything about the Rav4EV, and that they were only going to get one every month… Toyota doesn’t really want to sell this car, according to most experts, they call it a “compliance car”. I called other dealerships throughout SoCal, they are all sold out… even at the ridiculously high sticker price!

Here’s proof of how all Toyota is doing is “compliance vehicles:”

Toyota announces plan to end launch of second all-electric car

I wish there was a car company who really cared about developing the EV market for the masses, Toyota just cares about compliance and good PR, unfortunately.

You still can’t take anything away from the new RAV4 EV as a gem of a new car. It has a lot of “sleeper” technology, i.e. a relatively massiveTesla battery and torquey drivetrain, all hidden in a rather pedestrian compact SUV. It should appeal to family oriented, middle class suburbanites, who commute less than 100 miles round trip to work. It’s pricey, but at year end, Toyota is already providing dealers with $5k cashback and 0% APR financing boost sales. With a $7.5K tax credit and $2.5K CA rebate, the price is even somewhat “affordable” for something this close to a Tesla’s electric range and performance.