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Almost purchased a Toyota RAV4 EV

In a prior article I mentioned that my wife and I were totally sold on going electric after our experience of buying and driving a 2012 Prius Plug-In Hybrid for a few months. I also mentioned our frustration of how difficult it was to keep the car in purely EV mode and keep it from switching to the gas engine, even when there was plenty of charge still left in the battery.

We realized the solution to our frustration would be to either go with a Plug-In Hybrid with a much bigger battery, or else go with a pure electric car that didn't have a gas engine to switch to. We decided to go with the latter option, a purely electric vehicle.

Over the decades starting with 1972 we've purchased many Toyota vehicles both new and used and have been very happy with them. At the time that we were making the decision to purchase a 100% electric vehicle, we currently owned 2 vehicles from Toyota: the 2012 Plug-In Prius Advanced mentioned above, and a 2012 Toyota Sienna Minivan Limited. Thus it was only logical for us to see what Toyota offered in the way of a 100% purley electric vehicle.

What we found was the Toyota RAV4 EV. I liked the idea of that style of car as it was sort of in the mini-SUV / minivan style. I also liked the idea that the battery, drive train, and entire EV component of the RAV4 came from Tesla Motors. It seemed like I'd be buying the best of both worlds, the car from a company I knew and trusted for making reliable vehicles with the best features and technology for the price, and an EV system from Tesla who made the best EV components in the world.

In hindsight, if we had purchased the Toyota RAV4 EV, that might have been the biggest vehicle purchase mistake we would have ever made in our lives. There are a lot of problems with the Toyota RAV4 EV design, most likely stemming from differing design philosophies between Toyota and Tesla that could not be resolved amicably. Another major problem was that Toyota later decided to end cooperation with Tesla, end production of the RAV4 EV model, and even completely abandon the production of any battery powered vehicle at all! If I had purchased this vehicle, I would have had an albatros on my hands with limited support.

I live in the State of Washington. I guess I was lucky that I was blocked from even considering buying the Toyota RAV4 EV since they do not offer it in the State of Washington at all. I think California might be the only state where it was ever offered for sale.

For me, that left only one purely electric car worth considering, and that was a vehicle from Tesla Motors themselves. It was a bit of a stretch to spend what it would cost to purchase a Tesla Model S, but my wife and I were determined to purchase a pure EV and we wanted one that, as Tesla says, didn't have to make excuses about performance, looks, range, capacity or comfort. The Tesla Model S was the only car for us!


Wikipedia: Toyota RAV4 EV

Toyota On Mirai Vs. Tesla: Battery Electric Vehicles Have 'Fundamental' Physics Problem

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