Toyota pulls the plug on the battery-powered RAV4 EV for mass production. Instead, the automaker is planning a plug-in crossover SUV for 2012, but for fleet sales only.
If you were one of the hopeful RAV4 EV fans out there, then we have some bad news. A new report is claiming that Toyota has literally pulled the plug on the battery-powered EV for the general public. According to Geri Yoza, Toyota's National Business Planning Manager of Advanced Vehicle Marketing (easy enough title to remember): "Toyota will focus on very strategic applications for the RAV4 EV."
Translation: the automaker will be turning its attention to fleets and car sharing programs only for the RAV4 EV and won't sell it directly through dealers to the public. In addition, Toyota will not offer fast charging on any cars until they get the green light from the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). This means that the RAV4 EV will not include a CHAdeMO charging port, which is a quick charging method for EVs. This type of port is currently being installed in several cities in the US with the funding provided by the Department of Energy.
Toyota's main competitors on the EV side are the Nissan Leaf and the Mitsubishi BEV (battery electric vehicle). And for now, Toyota is the only major automaker planning a plug-in crossover SUV for the upcoming 2012 model year - but for fleet sales only.