Electric RAV4 SUV by Toyota

Creative Commons / Mariordo

The new electric version of RAV4 SUV from Toyota Motor Corp. will cost around $49,800 and will be for sale this summer. RAV4 will be eligible for $7,500 federal tax.  However the cost is more than double the commencing price for the gas version.

This electric SUV can go for 100 miles on a single charge. It takes six hours to recharge using a 240 -volt charger.

This Launch by Toyota has broadened the choice of electric vehicles for US buyers. Till now the only options available were for small cars like Nissan Leaf and sports cars from Tesla Motors. RAV4 is the first electric SUV. Tesla designed and build its battery by an agreement made two years ago.

Toyota expects to sell a modest 2600 RAV4 EVs over the next three years. It sold more than 1500 gas powered RAV4 in April. Toyota believes that it will attract the early techno savvy crowd who are appreciative of performance and are also concerned for the environment. It is eager to see how it is received by the market.

As vehicles will be available only in certain markets, sales will be limited. It will be available for sale in California, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The high cost of RAV4 EVs could harm sales. It is higher by $14,600 than Nissan Leaf and $10,000 higher than the cost of electric Ford Focus or the Chevrolet Volt.

Sales of electric vehicles have not taken flight as expected in the US due to the limited charging infrastructure.

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