Tag: Toyota electric vehicles
Toyota has long avoided the urge to toss its hat in the ring and go against the likes of Nissan for its Leaf or Golf for the eGolf EV, but those days seem to becoming to a close. Toyota has announced tentative plans to release a full long-range EV in the future, the only difference is the automaker plans on using solid state batteries to do it.
What are Solid State Batteries?
Solid state batteries are still seen as an experimental technology, but they essentially replace the liquid chemicals in a battery with solid crystalline versions instead. They are thought to have a much higher capacity and to be more capable than the liquid-based options like Ni-Cad or Lithium-iON, but nobody has figured out how to create stable batteries that can be relied upon just yet.
Toyota Works for Solid State Battery Development
Toyota recently announced that it would try to create commercially viable solid state batteries for release by 2020. With the release of those batteries the automaker would have the tech to create some pretty substantial EVs that could rival most other products made by automakers then, or at least that’s the belief. While Toyota has only stated it’s going to push for development of solid state batteries by the early 2020’s, the automaker doesn’t actually state that it’s going to release any products based on that battery technology once the tech comes out.
Tesla has directly questioned whether or not Toyota is as close to creating commercially viable multi-cell solid-state batteries, but the automaker says that they are interested and support the endeavor. If Toyota is able to create such a product that’s fit for release, the automaker will have the upper-hand and could create a very competitive electric vehicle. Whether or not Toyota will pursue this action depends on what the automaker decides is the most profitable way forward, but we think it’s pretty likely. Toyota is well-known for being a pioneer of new technologies, and continues to release tech to the masses before other automakers dare. This breakthrough would be something Toyota could seriously benefit from, and the best way to do that is by releasing a powerful EV of its own.
by Zach McDonald of HybridCars.com
Toyota’s decision to release the RAV4 EV exclusively in California instantly ensured that buyers of the car would receive an additional $2,500 in state incentives on top of the $7,500 federal electric vehicle tax credit. But thanks to a series of additional perks, the first lithium ion battery-powered crossover utility vehicle available in the United States will now be even more affordable.
With a substantial (and expensive) Tesla-built 42-kWh battery pack, the RAV4 EV starts at $49,800—in league with many luxury hybrids. In addition to $10,000 in federal and state credits, Toyota will reportedly tacking on $7,500 in incentives—including $5,000 cash back and $2,500 in “loyalty cash” for returning Toyota customers.
In all, some RAV4 EV buyers could pay as little as $32,300 for the vehicle (though availability is limited.) As a final enticement, buyers who act before January 7, 2013 will also be eligible for zero-percent financing.
Toyota is offering a 36-month, $599-per month deal for leasers.
The RAV4 EV first hit California roads on September 24. Toyota plans to limit sales to 2,600 vehicles by 2014, and there has been no announcement as to whether the carmaker plans to continue its arrangement with Tesla to produce more vehicles beyond that point. The crossover is the only fully-electric SUV available in the United States market, carrying a range of 103 miles and equivalent efficiency of 76 electric miles per gallon.
Have you considered a fully electric vehicle? Or would you like to consider one but are concerned that it might not make it as far as you would like it to. What if the vehicle ran out of power? What if it leaves me stranded? Well, you are not alone. There are others out there who would consider purchasing an electric vehicle but have what we call, range anxiety.
Watch the following video as Toyota executives, engineers and designers discuss the RAV4 EV and how they plan on eliminating range anxiety by creating an aerodynamic, fully functional, and fun-to-drive vehicle without any compromises.
Electric vehicle technology is moving at a very fast pace which means there may be an EV in your very near future. Auto manufacturers are working hard to meet the requirements of the California Environmental Protection Agency Air Resources Board’s (CARB) zero-emissions vehicle program. Toyota delivers its contribution with the 2013 RAV4 EV which is the product of a collaborative effort with Tesla Motors.
Toyota Motor Corporation’s president, Akio Toyoda and Tesla’s chairman, product architect and CEO, Elon Musk decided that their companies should develop an electric vehicle together. In order to fast track the process, rather than build a vehicle from scratch, they decided to use the existing RAV4 platform. Engineers at Toyota took the lead and the end result is an all-electric SUV with a motor based on the system in the Tesla Model S sedan.
A restyled front bumper, upper and lower grill, side mirrors, rear spoiler and an underbody designed the optimize airflow produces a lower coefficient of drag and low center of gravity. As a result, the 2012 Toyota RAV4 EV has an exceptionally smooth, quiet ride, and comfortable handling. Two drive modes are available: Normal and Sport. Sport mode accelerates the RAV4 EV from 0 to 60 mph in just 7 seconds before topping out at 100 mph. Normal drive mode achieves a 0 to 60 mph in 8.6 seconds with a maximum track speed of 85 mph. Max output from the electric powertrain is 154 horsepower (115 kW).
There are two options to charge the RAV4 EV. In standard mode, which is designed to optimize battery life, the battery charges up to 35 kWh and the EPA-estimated driving range rating is 92 miles. Extended mode allows the battery to fully charge to a capacity of 41.8 kWh, resulting in an anticipated EPA-estimated driving range of 113 mph. To help optimize EV range, Toyota designed the climate control system with three modes which sets a balance between driver comfort and EV driving range. In NORMAL mode, the climate control system mimics a conventional vehicle which maximizes passenger comfort and in turn, reduces the EV range. ECO LO mode achieves the balance between cabin comfort and improved range through reduced power consumption of the blower, compressor, and/or electric heater. ECO HI further reduces blower, compressor and heater levels, offering up to 40 percent power reduction compared to NORMAL.
In addition, the unique Toyota/Tesla designed regenerative braking system works to maximize the vehicle’s kinetic energy loss and converts it to electric energy, which recharges the battery and extends driving range. The addition of cooperative regenerative braking increases driving range by up to 20 percent.
The RAV4 EV incorporates a number of unique safety features in addition to what is found in the conventional RAV4. The battery modules are encased in a structural pack surrounded by a four-sided extruded aluminum enclosure. Large aluminum rocker extrusions act as a structural attachment between the enclosure and the body as well as provide further impact protection. In addition, the chassis is specially designed to help protect the battery and inverter assemblies in the event of a collision. A rigid inverter protection brace bridges the gap between the body front cross member and the front suspension member to mitigate inverter damage by keeping the two members at a set distance from each other during a frontal crash. Special steel ramps built into the front of the undercarriage serve to deflect intrusion into the battery enclosure. In a rear impact, the battery’s rear mounting brackets can separate the battery from the body further protecting the battery enclosure from intrusion.
“A prime design target for all Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles featuring traction batteries is to maintain battery structural integrity and electrical isolation internal to the battery,” said Sheldon Brown, executive program manager for Toyota Engineering and Manufacturing North America. “The RAV4 EV battery and chassis are designed as a system to protect against battery ‘isolation loss’ during a crash, meaning the electrical energy is completely contained within the battery preventing any conductive path to the vehicle body. Electrical components and chassis are designed as a system to protect occupants, first responders and the battery pack itself.”
The RAV4 EV will go on sale in late summer 2012 through select California dealers, focusing on major metropolitan markets. Service for the RAV4 EV will only be available at these authorized RAV4 EV dealers. Sales volume is planned for approximately 2,600 units through 2014. The battery is warrantied for eight years or 100,000 miles.
The RAV4 EV is expected to qualify for a $2,500 rebate through the Clean Vehicle Rebate Program in California and also is eligible for a $7,500 Federal Tax Credit. The vehicle will qualify for the California High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane white sticker program.
“We believe that the RAV4 EV will attract sophisticated early technology adopters, much like the first-generation Prius,” said Bill Fay, Toyota division group vice president and general manager. “It’s designed for consumers who prioritize the environment and appreciate performance. We look forward to seeing how the market responds.”