Tag: Toyota RAV4 EV

Get To Know The Toyota RAV4 EV

October 31, 2012 lacarguy Electric Vehicles, Green Articles, Green Auto Technology, Toyota Tags: , , , , 0 Comments

At a quick glance, the Toyota RAV4 EV looks a lot like the gas-powered RAV4; however, upon closer inspection Toyota has done a lot to differentiate the two RAV4 models that serve very different purposes.

 

As noted in the video below, Toyota incorporated a more aerodynamic front-end design to the RAV4 EV, as well as power saving LED headlights and daytime running lights.  Revisions extend to the rear end too, where unique taillights sit below an extended rear spoiler and next to a tailgate that forgoes the RAV4’s signature hatch mounted spare tire (the latter feature being available to the gas-powered RAV4 as well).

Design changes reach underneath the car too. Redesigned spats near the wheels, and a smooth underbody aid in vehicle aerodynamics.

Inside, the RAV4 EV gains a new gauge pack and center console controls that reflect the high-level of technology the car packs. Watch the video below to see these new features in action on the Toyota RAV4 EV.

 [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eU1JgGMvpW0&w=640&h=360]

Living with an electric vehicle doesn’t mean having to live with compromise. To assist owners of the new RAV4 EV, Toyota has designed its Entune app to specifically accommodate their needs.

From the vehicles multimedia system owners can access Entune’s variety of apps, one of which is a list of the nearest charging locations. Owners can also set the time their RAV4 EV will begin charging if leaving it on a charger for an extended period of time. This feature can save RAV4 EV owners money as charging during off-peak hours is often less expensive.

Other interesting features include the ability to set a “pre-climate” mode from the owner’s smart phone. Selecting this mode engages the vehicle’s air-conditioning system before the driver arrives at the vehicle so that the RAV4 EV’s interior temperature is already set to his or her preferences. But don’t take it from us, watch the video below to see the RAV4 EV’s Entune features in action:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PrnpU4WaMU&w=640&h=360]

Smog Pollution in LA Dropped 98 Percent in Last 50 Years

August 31, 2012 lacarguy HybridCars.com Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

by Zach McDonald – HybridCars.com

Anyone who doubts the impact that cleaner vehicles can have on air quality would be wise to take heed of Los Angeles, where a new report from the University of Colorado’s Institute for Environmental Sciences has found pollution from smog-causing chemicals to be down 98 percent since 1960, thanks in part to the emergence of cleaner cars and trucks.

The transformation began in the late 1940s, when Los Angeles established the first air pollution control program in the nation’s history to combat a growing smog problem of unknown origins. After studying the issue, the Los Angeles County Air Pollution Control Program concluded that much of problem stemmed from the growing presence of automobiles in the area, and set out to find ways to make those cars and trucks cleaner.

Over the coming decades, those findings would lead to an array of clean air regulations, as well as technological developments ranging from the catalytic converter to the re-emergence of the electric vehicle. Modern plug-in cars like the Toyota RAV4 EV can in large part be credited to regulations passed by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), whose legacy can be traced back to LA’s early efforts to combat smog.

Remarkably enough, LA’s success in curbing smog pollutants has come in the face of drastically increased overall fuel usage. As the county’s population and overall vehicle miles have skyrocketed since the 1960s, so too has the gasoline and diesel required to fuel the expansion. Nevertheless, by passing controls to make the fuels themselves cleaner as well as the engines that burn them, regulators have found ways to improve air quality even as fuel usage has almost tripled over that period.

For Los Angeles, despite the tremendous progress that has been made over the last half century, the battle to curb emissions is nearly as dire today as it was 50 years ago. The city’s air quality still ranks among the lowest of any major urban area in the country, with automobile transportation remaining just critical a part of life in LA as it’s ever been.

The challenge ahead lies in improving the overall efficiency of new vehicles in California. Overall fuel economy in the United States has risen by less than 5 miles per gallon since 1960, which is something CARB has been fighting hard to change. The growing popularity of hybrids like the Toyota Prius will be instrumental in improving air quality over the coming decades, and advocates hope that the next generation of plug-ins will follow in their footsteps.

Toyota Confirms Limited Production Of Electric RAV4 And Scion iQ In 2012

January 19, 2012 lacarguy HybridCars.com, Scion, Toyota Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

by: Zach McDonald Hybridcars.com

Toyota’s chief executive in the United States confirmed last week that electric versions of the Scion iQ and the Toyota RAV4 will enter the production cycle in 2012. The two electric vehicles have been promised for a couple of years, so hitting the delivery dates on time is good news. The bad news is how tentative the production numbers will be.

Toyota Motor Sales president and chief operating officer, Jim Lentz, told reporters at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show that both the electric iQ minicar and the battery-powered RAV4 SUV will be small-scale production vehicles and used to “gauge consumer preferences, usage patterns and daily requirements.” In other words, Toyota will continue to sit on the sidelines and study EVs, while Nissan (and others) aim for the biggest possible volume for its electric vehicles.

Lentz also confirmed that the Toyota RAV4 EV will have a range that exceeds 100 miles. It will become the only all-electric SUV available in the US when it hits dealerships-mainly in California-later this year. The second-generation RAV4 EV is also Toyota’s first fully-electric vehicle sold in the United States since it halted sales of the legendary old-school RAV4 EV in 2003. This time around, Toyota will team up with the startup EV-maker Tesla for design and production of RAV4’s drivetrain. Tesla’s Roadster and forthcoming Model S are both capable of ranges well in excess of the 100-mile barrier other fully-electric consumer vehicles have failed to break.

Lentz said the electrified Scion iQ will have a range of 50 miles or less, and that the minicar will be a fleet-only vehicle. It’s expected that most of the 100 or so Scion iQ EVs will be sold to car-sharing programs in urban areas in the US. According to Lentz, gauging consumer preferences means that Toyota will “test” both electrified vehicles for three years, at which point the automaker will determine whether or not the technology is ready for mass production.

Pricing information for both vehicles is still unknown.