2012 Toyota RAV4 EV launch at EVS-26, Los Angeles, April 2012Enlarge Photo
When Toyota first announced that it was going to resurrect its iconic RAV4 EV after an absence of nearly ten years, electric car fans rejoiced. After all, the original 1997-2003 RAV4 EVs are so reliable and so beloved that they still command a high price at auction.
When the production version of the 2012 Toyota RAV4 EV was finally unveiled earlier this month, Toyota admitted that it planned to produce fewer than 1,000 examples a year, essentially confirming the theory that the RAV4 EV is nothing more than a California “Compliance Car”.
But compliance car or not, interest surrounding the 2012 Toyota RAV4 EV is so high that some Toyota dealers are starting unofficial order lists.
“Toyota of Palo Alto will be selling the Toyota RAV4 EV and is accepting orders now,” a previous-generation Toyota RAV4 EV owner wrote on the RAV4 EV Owners list. “Delivery is planned for late this year.”
Officially, Toyota hasn’t opened its order books for the all-electric crossover SUV, but according to 2002 RAV4 EV owner Marc Geller, some dealers might even be taking deposits.
“I’ve heard they are taking deposits, or at least making a list,” he told us. “Me too,” electric vehicle advocate Chelsea Sexton confirms. “What they’re doing isn’t 'official', but it’s also not uncommon.”
Engineered in collaboration with Tesla, the 2012 Toyota RAV4 EV has a 10-kilowatt on-board charger, 41.8-kilowatt-hour battery pack and an expected range of 100 miles per charge.
Toyota has set a recommended retail price of $49,800 before incentives, and hopes 90 percent of vehicles will go to private buyers as either outright purchases or through a leasing scheme.
Deliveries aren’t expected to occur until later on this year, but with demand already high, we can’t imagine Toyota having any difficulty finding buyers for the all-electric SUV.
Of course, there is still one catch: Toyota only plans to make 2,600 RAV4 EVs over the next three years -- and it only plans to sell the car in four areas of California.