Booming August Sales Leave Less Than 470 Toyota RAV4 EVs To Be Sold


Carson Toyota

Carson Toyota

Prior to the month of August, sales of the Toyota RAV 4 EV never exceeded 149 units in 2014.  But then August came in with a bang…a surprising 228 RAV4 EVs were sold.

With the 228 added in, the monthly average for the year is 105.25 units sold per month.  Or 105.

Toyota RAV4 EV production is limited to 2,600 units.  As our sales chart shows, cumulative sales reached 2,130 units through the end of August, thus leaving only 470 RAV4 EVs left to be sold/leased.

At this year’s monthly average of 105, those units will last less than 5 months, but if sales track at or near the 228 sold in August, then we could be looking at just over 2 months of RAV4 EVs left to sell.

Back to August Sales

August RAV4 EV sales were unexpectedly high.  We reached out to Dianne Whitmire, Fleet and Internet Sales Director at Carson Toyota in Sunny SoCal, for comment.  Typically, Whitmire sells 1/4th of all the RAV4 EVs sold in the U.S. in a single month.  Averaging more than one sale per day, Whitmire clearly leads in RAV4 EV sales.  August was no exception as Whitmire sold a remarkable 36 RAV4 EVs (out of the 39 sold at Carson Toyota), but that 36 (or even 39) is well below 1/4th of the 228.  So, what’s going on here?

Dianne Whitmire tells us that Carson Toyota’s plug-in electric vehicle sales broke out like this in August:


  • 36 RAV4 EVs
  • 47 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid

Other Carson Toyota staff:

  • 3 RAV4 EVs
  • 13 Toyota prius Plug-In Hybrid

Back to the 228 RAV4 EVs Sold In August

We suspect a large fleet order may have been placed, though we can’t confirm this at this point in time.  However, a more than tripling of sales (228 in August compared to just 68 in July) hints to us that something rather major (beyond just a strong lease deal) came into play.

2014 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers *Estimated Tesla NA Sales Numbers – Reconciled on Quarterly Totals from Earnings Report (Q1 Sales reported @ 6,457-3,000 Intl Delivers, Q2 7,579 total-approx reported International registrations, Q3 7,785 total deliveries ~ 3,900 US) *Fiat 500e data estimated for Jan/Feb

2014 Monthly Sales Chart For The Major Plug-In Automakers *Estimated Tesla NA Sales Numbers – Reconciled on Quarterly Totals from Earnings Report (Q1 Sales reported @ 6,457-3,000 Intl Delivers, Q2 7,579 total-approx reported International registrations, Q3 7,785 total deliveries ~ 3,900 US) *Fiat 500e data estimated for Jan/Feb

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26 responses to "Booming August Sales Leave Less Than 470 Toyota RAV4 EVs To Be Sold"
  1. Ya might want to do some research on the sales. In August 2013, there were 231 sold.

    2600 total to be sold in model years 2012 – 2014 to comply with California Air Resources Board – Zero Emissions Vehicle (CARB-ZEV) mandates:

    On sale: September 24, 2012

    Sep 2012 – 61 ……….. 61
    Oct 2012 – 47 ……….. 108
    Nov 2012 – 32 ……….. 140
    Dec 2012 – 52 ……….. 192
    Jan 2013 – 25 ………… 217
    Feb 2013 – 52 ………… 269
    Mar 2013 – 133 ………. 402
    Apr 2013 – 70 ………… 472
    May 2013 – 84 ………… 556
    Jun 2013 – 44 ………… 600
    July 2013 – 109 ……… 709
    Aug 2013 – 231 ……… 940 (at this rate, 2600 will be complete 1st week April 2014)
    Sep 2013 – 167 …….. 1107 (at this rate, 2600 will be complete 1st week July 2014)
    Oct 2013 – 91 ……… 1198 (at this rate, 2600 will be sold out 2nd week of Jan 2015)
    Nov 2013 – 62 ……… 1260 (at this rate, 2600 will be sold out 3rd week of Aug 2015)
    Dec 2013 – 28 ……… 1288 (almost halfway to sold out !!!)
    Jan 2014 – 63 ……… 1351 (even with a $14k lease incentive… ouch)
    Feb 2014 – 101 …….. 1452
    Mar 2014 – 73 ……… 1526
    Apr 2014 – 69……….. 1595 (from Aug 31, 2013 guess, sold out by first week of April 2014)
    May 2014 – 149 ……… 1744
    Jun 2014 – 91 ………. 1835
    July 2014 – 68 ……….. 1903 (from Sep 30, 2013 guess, sold out by 1st week of July 2014)
    Aug 2014 – 228 ……… 2131
    Sep 2014 – …………
    Oct 2014 – …………
    Nov 2014 – …………
    Dec 2014 – …………
    Jan 2015 – ………… (from Oct 31, 2013 guess, sold out by 2nd week of Jan 2015)


    Why 2600 cars?

    2012 through 2014 Requirements. A manufacturer must meet the total ZEV obligation with ZEVs or ZEV credits generated by such vehicles, excluding NEVs and Type 0 ZEVs, equal to at least 0.79% credit of its annual sales.

    Why are credit balances in units of grams/mile Non-Methane Organic Gases (g/mile NMOG)?

    When credits are earned they are multiplied by the g/mile NMOG fleet average requirement for the appropriate model year. Please note that in the ZEV Regulation g/mi NMOG is used only as index (which decreases over time)—it is the “currency” that credits are stored in and does not represent actual values of g/mi NMOG. The intent of this multiplier was to reward early production of vehicles.

    Fleet Average Non-Methane Organic Gas Exhaust Mass Emission
    Requirements for Light-duty Vehicle Weight Classes
    (50,000 Mile Durability Vehicle Basis)

    Model Year – Fleet Average NMOG (grams per mile), All PCs; LDTs

    ———- 0-3750 lbs LVW —- LDTs 3751 lbs. LVW – 8500 lbs. GVW

    2010+ ——- 0.035 ————— 0.043

    I will bet that the difference between 0.035 and 0.043 NMOG multiplier between a passenger car and light duty truck over 3750 pounds is yet another reason why Toyota used the Rav4 EV.

    Toyota will build 900,000 cars for California sales in model years 2012-2014, and Toyota will build 2600 pure ZEVs that are over 3750 pounds or more, so:

    (2600 total Rav4 EVs * 3 credits per 100 mile range car) * 0.043 = 335.4 “NMOG” CARB-ZEV credits for all three years. In the fiscal year ending Sept 30, 2013, Toyota carried a credit balance of 876.084 NMOG-CARB-ZEV.

    I have no idea what balance they may have carried over since 1990. The 1107 Rav4 EVs * 3 = 3321 * 0.043 = 143.802 earned NMOG credits for California fiscal year.

    (2600 total sold * 3 credit per car) / 900,000 Toyota cars sold in California in three years = 0.867%, and they need 0.79%. It looks like the perfect number, with a bit to spare. But that’s not completely accurate, because some of these cars are being sold out of California and they either get zero or maybe one credit per car. It may get closer to the 0.79% threshold than Toyota would like.

    There is a $5000 penalty per credit not earned with a car, plus they would have to buy the credits on the open market.

    1. Lustuccc says:

      Compliance cars is cheating the spirit of the law. Manufacturers should be forced to offer thousands of those all electric cars in every states.

      1. Rick says:

        Or it’s meeting the letter of the law. It all depends upon one’s perspective.

  2. >>>> We suspect a large fleet order may have been placed, though we can’t confirm this at this point in time. However, a more than tripling of sales (228 in August compared to just 68 in July) hints to us that something rather major (beyond just a strong lease deal) came into play. <<<<<

    Really? Maybe Martians showed up and each wanted one?

  3. JRMW says:

    I am a long time Toyota owner. My first car was an adorable Toyota Tercel that had no passenger side mirror and no radio. I currently drive a Lexus RX330. Their shenanigans have completely turned me off to their brand.

    They cynically put out a product and try NOT to sell it. I REALLY wanted a RAV4 but nope, compliance car. Can’t buy it outside of California. It’s even difficult to buy in California if you don’t live in LA or SF metro areas

    Then instead of making their cars better they bash all other EVs instead. I’m sorry that Tesla is eating Lexus’ lunch. Go out and improve

    Then in hilarious fashion they produce an awful FCV-a car so stupid that makes the Edsel look like a business Mensa decision

    Toyota. The car company of the past.

    I REALLY hope EVs and PHEVs take off fast enough so that GM and Nissan can eat Toyota’s lunch

    1. Lou Grinzo says:

      I have to agree. I started with a 1974 Corolla wagon, and have owned several Toyotas in all the years between then and now. But I can’t see myself ever spending another cent on one of their vehicles.

      As I’ve said many times here, the two most disappointing companies — Toyota and Honda — will both make stunning reversals re:EVs in the next few years, simply because they’ll have no choice thanks to market conditions and regulatory requirements. But even then I simply can’t see a likely scenario in which I’d go back to Toyota.

      1. The reversal won’t be several years. Toyota and. Honda each have already stopped their EV production and each will offer a hydrogen car for model year 2015.

    2. Lustuccc says:

      Totally agree.
      The plug-in Prius here in Québec cost 10 000$ more than the regular one… for a f****ing plug!
      And dońt even think of buying an electric RAV4, I was the one last year, who showed the salesmen of my dealership that such a car even existed!

  4. Anon says:

    The potential to make this EV more than just a compliance car, was there. So sad. 🙁

  5. Mark says:

    I’m one of those 228. I’d been watching the incentives on these since the Feb/Mar 2013. I think I might have an idea why so many sold this month. Not only were the incentives up to the highest level I’d seen them from Toyota, but many dealers in the Bay Area have had a surplus of them on their lots since April/May and they’re finally willing to take quite a hit on the price just to move them off the lots. I was set to go with Dianne Whitmire for my lease, but after calling around to the local dealers from SF to Folsom, I found many were willing to negotiate far below anything I’d seen before. Eventually found a dealer willing to take $3,500 off MSRP. Plus I got the $17,500 of Toyota subvention cash. With no money down, I will also eventually get the $2,500 CVRP rebate. Total cost before tax was $26,500. That is an INSANE price for a car that cost Toyota roughly $40k a piece just for the Tesla components alone! ($100 million deal for 2,600 units). I’m pretty sure that a regular gas version of the RAV4 fully loaded would cost more than what these are going for now.

    By the way, I absolutely love the range on this thing. There is simply nothing else on the market that competes with it on the combination of price and range.

    1. JRMW says:

      Jealousy burns in my soul.

      Channeling Princess Laia.
      Help me Mitsubishi, you’re my only hope!

    2. Wraithnot says:

      You just got my attention. Just to make sure I understand the math correctly, does the $26,500 include the $7,500 federal tax credit? Or is that ~$49,800 msrp – $17,500 subvention cash – $3,500 dealer discount – $2,500 CVRP? Either way, it still sounds like a pretty good deal.

      1. Mike I says:

        You don’t get the $7,500 Federal tax credit. It goes to the leasing company, so it’s rolled into the $17,500 lease incentive.

    3. Harry How says:

      Can you tell me where you got $3500 off msrp? I’d like to get one for that price.
      Thanks, Harry

  6. ElectricRocketShip says:

    I think they really missed a golden opportunity to take this nation wide. Though I love my LEAF, it and the Volt were really my only option in a non-carb state back in January of 2014.

    Honda also missed out on not taking the Fit EV, and they have really come up short with their Accord PHEV, in my opinion.

  7. jmac says:

    Why do the Japanese seemingly piddle around with electric cars and refuse to commit to them.

    I think the answer lies in the fact that almost all energy in Japan is made by mostly imported fossil fuels. Only 10% comes from re-newables, like wind. solar, hydro, etc.

    To the Japanese, electricity is made mostly from relatively fossil fuels imported from all over the world.

    The Japanese are far more dependent on mid-east oil than the U.S. as the link below demonstrates.

    Since most electricity in Japan is made from imported fossil fuels (90%), the Japanese simply “caved in” to fossil fuel interests and started promoting the H2 car.

    Electric cars make wonderful sense in Norway where 90% of the grid is hydro, but less sense for resource starved Japan, where grid electricity is about 90% fossil fuels.

    Japan is the second greatest importer of fossil fuels behind China.

    So, “when froggy came a callin’ Miss Piggy (Japan) said “Hell Yes, let’s make an H2 car.”

    Since Japan is 90% reliant on fossil fuels anyway, the Japanese are saying, Let’s promote the hydrogen economy. H2 makes little difference to Japan since just about all of our (Japan’s) electrical energy comes from fossil fuels.

    It makes sense for Japan to do some deep bowing to the Saudis, (that supply 33% of japan’s oil needs), and to the UAE, and so on down the list of usual suspects.

    Since Japan imports gobs and gobs of LNG, hey ….why not just steam reform it to hydrogen….

    Hence the Japanese fascination with fuel cells and the hydrogen economy.

    To the Japanese. it doesn’t really matter since just about all of their energy comes from outside Japan in the form of imported.
    fossil fuels.

    I think that is why Japanese auto companies may have come out in favor of fuel cells.

    The Japanese may be thinking: “Well, if we import natural gas to reconstitute the LNG to run gas turbines to make electricity for electric cars, why not just steam reform the natural gas into H2 and run fuel cell cars.

    What’s the difference ?, the Japanese might say. It’s all the same in the end….

    Except for the numbers. They still don’t work for hydrogen, even in an economy that is 100 per cent dependent on fossil fuels.

    1. david_cary says:

      Of course they did have a decent amount of nuclear but that changed abruptly. I suspect that changed the paradigm for everyone in Japan including the product planners at Toyota and Honda. But Nissan is of course Japanese and for tall the issues, the Leaf is still the world’s best selling EV.

  8. Spec9 says:

    It is the only car that falls in the chasm between the crap of ~80 mile range econoboxes and the 200+ mile range Tesla Model S.

    But sadly, it not well-known, it uses the old RAV body, it has had several bugs, it is only sold in a few places, there is no fast-charge port, and it has a really high asking price ($50K).

    1. Well, it was only sold in one state, because that was the minimum requirement. But, there are plenty of head scratchers… why make the car have such long range when it’s CARB-ZEV compliant competition all shot for 80 miles?

      And why leave out the CHAdeMO inlet, which could have very easily been put in the purpose built nose? They would have saved a TON of money with their $17,500 discounts if the car were more appealing. Those inlets and hardware would have cost about $500 per car.

      Range at 65mph (100km ground speed) on dry, hard surface level road with no wind or cabin climate control with new condition battery at 70F, battery capacity is “useable” amount, not advertised amount. Ranges are at maximum available charge and EPA rating is the maximum published.

      *** Mercedes does some goofy BS with the economy meter… it’s calibrated “from the wall”, so 3.8 miles per kWh will show 3.2 on the dash

      Rav4 EV – 3.4 miles per kWh (295 wattHours per mile) * 41.8kWh = 142 miles / EPA 113

      LEAF – 4 miles per kWh (250 wattHours per mile) * 21.3kWh = 85.2 miles / EPA 84

      GM / Chevrolet
      Spark EV – 5 miles per kWh (200 wattHours per mile) * 19kWh = 95miles / EPA 82

      B-Class ED – 3.8 miles per kWh (263 wattHours per mile) * 31.5kWh = 120 miles / EPA 104

  9. pete g says:

    Since in the next 10 years I’m more likely to see a UFO than an HFC. I think its safe to say nether one really exist.
    (yea, I know some of you have pictures and anal probing stories)
    Toyotas big bet in the last decade has been on hybrids. They fell behind on: battery, fuel efficient ICE, aluminum and carbon fiber technology. Even the quality of their cars has suffered (evident by the number of recalls in recent years). Although they still have about half a dozen vehicles that still sell well in North America, Auto sales in the rest of the world are falling fast.
    HFCs are the only way Toyota can stay relevant

  10. jmac says:

    Perhaps Toyota saw a much bigger take up rate foe conventional gas electric hybrids like the Prius than has actually occurred.

    I’m sure they did, or at least Toyota hoped for a much greater success than just a modest 2.5% U.S. market share, and that after nearly 15 years.

    The real truth is that worldwide sales of hybrids since their inception amounts to less than 1.5% of all auto sales worldwide since 1998.

    Not exactly a game changer.

    But, Toyota of course keeps steadfastly pushing hybrids. Not so much that they think hybrids are any kind of real solution, but simply to continue to make money from the technology.

    Is Tesla Model S stealing Lexus sales. Of course….

    Toyota is desperately trying to gin up hybrid sales as a counter to EVs. But conventional hybrids cannot deliver appx. 100 mpg-e figures like some plug-ins and pure BEV can.

    Mileage like this far exceeds that of Toyota’s outdated Prius family. Not only are hybrids competing against Euro diesels, but also against high mileage gasoline vehicles and EVs that get twice the mileage of the Prius. Plus EVs don’t use any gasoline at all and have zero point of use emissions.

    It’s been rumored that the guy that now heads Toyota was once one of a number of engineers working on the original Prius.

    Go figure……

    Toyota knows that pure electric vehicles will undermine their conventional Prius hybrid and other TMC hybrids.

    So, we have the California ZEV compliance car, the RAV4 that is almost “sold out”.

    Toyota just wants to sidestep EVs because they undermine Toyota’s conventional ICE and hybrid sales.

  11. Rav4 EV AZ says:

    I got my Ray4 in Nov-2013 and I love it. We have put 20k miles on it already. My commute is 70 miles per day at freeway speeds of 70mph. The Car runs flawless and has made it through its first blistering Arizona summer. Such a shame that it is coming to the end of its production life. Maybe when the Giga factories are online we will see the partnership between Tesla and Toyota once again.

  12. david_cary says:

    This car surely lost Toyota $20k on each one. I always wonder why people wish Toyota would sell them in more places or make more of them. That would be crazy!

    Could Toyota sell these for a profit? Not likely. Of course they would sell some but not enough to make it worth the distribution.

    I mean at $60k, most people would buy a Tesla for a little more. I mean is there anything the Rav4EV can do that a Tesla can’t? Can it tow? Is it bigger? I honestly don’t know but I doubt it.

    1. Mike I says:

      No, it really can’t do more than a Tesla Model S unless you have specifically shaped (tall) cargo requirements. People are getting them because they are good enough and less than half the cost of the cheapest Supercharge enabled Model S.

  13. Mike I says:

    In addition, the consensus is that the last RAV4EV has rolled out of the factory and the highest VIN number spotted is 3536. They are believed to have started at 1,000. So, it looks like Toyota will not sell the full 2,600 units to the public.

  14. Dianne says:

    As of today, Sept 21, there are 300 new EVs available in CA. 44 of them are “mine” here. The end is near… sort of sad and bittersweet for me, personally. I adore this car, and am sad to see it end production. -Dianne