Toyota’s 2013 RAV4 EV is the automaker’s second go round of converting its small gasoline powered sport utility to an electric vehicle. From 1997 to 2003, 1,484 RAV4 EVs were leased or sold. Of those, Toyota says approximately 449 are still on the road.
Fashioned into a slab beneath the Fit's floor, the battery avoids impinging on interior room because the entire chassis has been elevated by 1.6 inches (reminiscent of the 1997 EV Plus, if you recall). To keep its underwear from showing, there are added rocker panels plus plastic eyebrows above the wheelwells. It looks better than it sounds.
Exterior revisions compared to the gas-powered RAV4 include a revised front bumper, grill, side mirrors and rear spoiler in addition to a special underbody design that maximizes air flow around the vehicle. These changes help cut drag to 0.30 Cd, making it the most aerodynamic crossover in the world. Headlights, taillights and daytime running lights are all upgraded to LED units.
Priced at $49,800, the RAV4 EV normally leases for $599 a month. The all-electric vehicle is powered by a 115 kW electric motor (154 HP) that returns a 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) time of 7 seconds and a maximum speed rated at 100 miles per hour (160 km/h).