2013 Toyota RAV4 EV Driving Impression & Review !!!

Discussion in 'RAV4 EV' started by HAWAIIANBUILT, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. HAWAIIANBUILT

    HAWAIIANBUILT Senior Member

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    Hello PriusChat Folks

    [​IMG]

    I recently had the opportunity to take delivery of the All New 2013 Toyota Rav4 EV. I have done several test drives for Toyota to share with our PriusChat community including the Prius Performance Plus, Prius PHV, Prius v, and also the Prius c.

    The Rav4 EV was my latest opportunity to review this fully Electric Toyota.

    Toyota Site :

    Toyota Rav4 EV 2013 | Electric Crossover SUV

    As the owner of a 3rd Generation Prius, I am accustom to driving style of a Hybrid. And so because of this I was ecstatic to transfer my driving style and knowledge into the realm of a full Electric vehicle.

    I did have only One Main Concern for this transition : Range Anxiety !!!

    To help me with this concern, I was rest assured that the Toyota Entune Application would ease my anxiety !!!

    And, in an effort to give a full and complete Test Drive Impression and Review as best as I could, I planned a trip from Los Angeles County (Torrance) to San Diego County (Downtown) ... roughly a 250 Mile Round Trip).

    Please note that this is my First Test Drive Impression of Any type of a Full Electric Driven vehicle so my experiences may differ from any other party / individual.

    Now onto my Story !!!

    Arrival of the New 2013 Rav4 EV

    Picked up at the Toyota Headquarters in Torrance, California.
    The RAV4 EV was charged and ready to go !!!

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    Equipped with the Following Apps available for iPhone :

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    Used Primarily for Charging Locations & Information :
    01. Toyota Entune - Toyota - Entune
    02. PlugShare - PlugShare - EV Charging Station Map - Find the nearest location to charge your electric car!

    Used Primarily for Charging Locations, Information, and Payment at Charging Sites:
    03. Blink - Blink
    04. Watt Station - GE WattStation Connect

    Here's a Brief Summary of Each :

    01. Toyota Entune

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    Interface

    *Charge Management & Charge Station Map are the two features I used most*

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    Charge Management allows you to see the Current Charged Status of the EV.
    It also allows you the ability to program the vehicle to be charged immediately upon Plug-in or at a precise schedule. This is a great feature as you are able to remotely monitor the status of charging while away from it.

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    The Charge Station Map is a convenient guide to help you locate charging stations in proximity to your location as well as the different types of Voltage available : Multiple (Level 1 & Level 2), Level 1 (120V), and Level 2 (240V).

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    For additional information on the Toyota Entune here is a YouTube video :



    02. PlugShare

    Charging Station Locations Map

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    What I found most convenient about this Application was the ability to check the availability of open charging stations for use or if they were currently occupied by another. Hours of availability was also a great feature of this Application.

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    For additional information on the PlugShare Application here is a YouTube video :



    03. Blink

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    Charging Stations Map

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    You have the option to become a Blink Member or Guest.
    Blink Members Save the Most - from $1 an hour to charge. As a guest, I paid $2 an hour to charge. A Blink code was provided to sync with this charging station.

    Most major Credit Cards are accepted for payment.

    For additional information on the Blink Application here is a YouTube video :



    04. GE Watt Station

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    Charging Station Locations Map

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    A QR Code was provided to Sync with this Charging Station.

    PayPal is the method of payment I used for this Application.

    For additional information on the Watt Station Application here is a YouTube video :



    My journey mapped from Torrance to San Diego.
    (In reversal order from San Diego to Torrance) :

    RAV4 EV Charged at Initial Pickup (Not at Full Charge) : 80 Miles
    Torrance to Cerritos - 20 Miles
    Cerritos to Irvine - 20 Miles
    Irvine to San Diego - 85 Miles (A Minimum of 45 Miles to Recharge)
    Travel Around and Within San Diego : 50 Miles
    Total Round Trip Miles Mapped - 300 Miles

    The Journey :

    First Charge in Irvine (GE Watt Station)

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    Second Charge in San Diego (Blink Station)

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    Final Charge in Irvine (GE Watt Station)

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    The charging procedure at both the GE Watt and Blink stations were self explanatory. Once the Apps were sync were charging at the station in under 2 minutes.

    Pictures from San Diego !!!

    The Hilton San Diego Bayfront is where we stayed. There were charging stations located in the hotel's parking structure located on the 1st Level. This was definitely convenient during our stay there. The RAV4 EV was charging while we enjoyed the sites of the city.

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    After the great trip to San Diego it was time to further inspect the RAV4 EV !!!

    What better way to inspect than a thorough Cleaning and Detail !!!

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    Exterior

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    EV Engine Bay

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    Interior

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    Instrument Cluster

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    Center Display Screen

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    Charging Equipment

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    In Conclusion :

    Proper planning and mapping will helped to make this Test Drive Impression to be Successful !!!

    In regards to the amount I spent on Electric Charging ??!! Of course, according to your personal driving style, the terrain, usage of the Air Conditioning, Weight Load, etc., ALL must be taken into consideration.

    With everything considered :
    **ESTIMATED**

    EPA Rated Driving Range : 103 Miles
    Travel To, From, and Within San Diego : ~300 Miles
    Charging on a Level 2 - 240 Watt : ~6 Hours
    Blink / Watt Station Price : $2.00/Hour

    ~3 Full Charges (Partials Included) @ ~6Hours = ~18 Hours
    ~18 Hours @ $2.00/Hour = ~$36 Dollars Spent Total to Operate !!!

    With All factors considered for this size SUV we had plenty of Savings for this Trip !!!

    I must say that my first impression of Mapping out a Trip with an EV for the first time was both exciting and stressful. However, provided with the Toyota Entune system and application, the supplementary applications (PlugShare, Blink, and Watt Station) have all help CURE ALL insecurities I had with the Range Anxiety !!!

    Again, please keep in mind your individual results may vary. I am a first time EV Driver !!!

    Overall, I was very pleased and satisfied with the RAV4 EV.

    [​IMG]

    PLEASE NOTE :

    In my opinion the RAV4 EV is a great Daily Driven Vehicle for your shorter Commute to and From Work or for Short Distance Driving rather than an extended trip such as mine. I wanted to test the ability for this Leisure Trip. With Charging Stations throughout the trip and proved it can be done (to reduce my Range Anxiety) but, you must also take into consideration your Charging Time required. Again, I would recommend this vehicle for a Daily Driven Vehicle for your shorter Commute to and from work or for Shorter Distance Driving.

    For Any and All Questions you may have that are Beyond my Expertise regarding the All New 2013 Rav4 EV, please contact your Local Toyota Dealership or you may visit :

    Toyota Rav4 EV 2013 | Electric Crossover SUV

    On behalf of the PriusChat community I would like to thank to the great folks from Toyota Motor Corporation Headquarters for allowing me this opportunity !!!

    Happy EV Driving Folks !!!

    :):):):)

    Rodney
     
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  2. rcsting

    rcsting Toyota Fanatic

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    Great write up. My local Toyota dealer offers the Rav4 EV in their rental fleet and told me that they very rarely rent it. I'm planning on renting it to compare to my PiP since I don't have a Model S yet :)
     
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  3. bedrock8x

    bedrock8x Senior Member

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    Normally a round trip from LA to SD would take about 5 hrs. With a EV, it will take 23 hours, no thanks.
     
  4. HAWAIIANBUILT

    HAWAIIANBUILT Senior Member

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    Hello BEDROCK8X !!!

    I would recommend the RAV4 EV for Shorter Distance Driving as in the case of a Daily Driven operated vehicle to and from work (around 40 Miles 1 Way).

    I wanted to help face my Range Anxiety by taking the RAV4 EV on a Trip such as this. And so by doing this, it allowed me to Plan and Organize accordingly proving to myself it can be done !!!

    Hope this helps !!!

    :):):):)

    Rodney
     
  5. james cook

    james cook Member

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    The front logo/icon thing is ugly. Kinda looks like a stretch out prius C. Other than that...nice!

    Too bad it will be like 50k.
     
  6. HAWAIIANBUILT

    HAWAIIANBUILT Senior Member

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    In addition to my previous comment ...

    I definitely learned from this experience about the many ways to preserve and enhance EV efficiency. I think one of the best things I gained from this experience is that while the EV was charging during the day I was able to get more exercise walking in the City !!!

    Hope this helps !!!

    :):):):)

    Rodney
     
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  7. WE0H

    WE0H Senior Member

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    300 miles and $36.00 for an EV trip is like 30 mpg in a gasser. The new RAV4 is supposed to get over 30 mpg :)

    Nice write up and cool pictures [​IMG]

    Mike
     
  8. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    Were there coffee shops and bars within walking distance of the charging stations?

    Did you try taking a nap during a charge session? Are the seats 'nap ready?'

    Bob Wilson
     
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  9. -1-

    -1- Don

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    :)Neat vehicle under the right circumstances. Does it come with a Level 1 or Level 2 charger? Level 1 full charge at 30 hours? I still prefer the Prius Plug In even with very limited EV range. I'm not a SUV or truck person. RAV4EV would be great for a medium size family. Thanks for the information.
     
  10. a_gray_prius

    a_gray_prius Rare Non-Old-Blowhard Priuschat Member

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    I'm a millennial. Want my money? You're not going to get it with another stupid SUV. My family has a Model S reservation for a reason.
     
  11. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Thanks for the pics. I'll have to look over your posts more carefully.

    You're a brave man to depend on Blink stations. Their network is known to be pretty unreliable and a bunch of their home and public stations have Rema J1772 handles w/faulty crimps, causing them to overheat at high loads (won't be a problem w/a '11 to '12 Leaf w/3.3 kW onboard charger, but IS a potential problem w/higher wattage chargers in the Rav4 EV, Focus Electric, Fit EV, '13+ Leaf w/available 6.6 kW charger, etc.)

    I'll post more on that later, when I have some time.

    Tony Williams had this happen to him on his former Blink station at home: My Nissan Leaf Forum • View topic - Blink / Rav4 Blows Out a Contactor Pin (with gory pics).

    What Blink's been doing to mitigate this has been a mixed bag...
     
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  12. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    To elaborate on my post re: Blink, these links might help.

    My Nissan Leaf Forum • View topic - Blink / Rav4 Blows Out a Contactor Pin (with gory pics) - this is on a different Rema handle from a different Blink EVSE (since Ingineer, aka pEEf here is in Berkeley whereas Tony's in San Diego)
    My Nissan Leaf Forum • View topic - Blink / Rav4 Blows Out a Contactor Pin (with gory pics) - example of bad crimp
    My Nissan Leaf Forum • View topic - Blink / Rav4 Blows Out a Contactor Pin (with gory pics)

    My Nissan Leaf Forum • View topic - Blink / Rav4 Blows Out a Contactor Pin (with gory pics) - conference call Tony had w/Blink

    Honda Fit EV Overheats When Used with Blink Chargers | PluginCars.com
    My Nissan Leaf Forum • View topic - Blink / Rav4 Blows Out a Contactor Pin (with gory pics)

    Reliability Of Electric-Car Charging Networks Varies Wildly, Study Says - I see numerous complaints all over the place (MNL, regional Leaf Facebook pages, etc.) about Blink EVSEs and DC fast chargers (not usable by any Toyota products as they're
    CHAdeMO Association
    ) being down, sometimes for a long time.

    Toyota Rav4 EV Forum • View topic - Blink just replaced my cable - at least they're changing handles on some

    My Nissan Leaf Forum • View topic - Fall out -- Some Blinks being current-limited - this is annoying. Rather than fix the problem (replace bad handles), turn down the output to prevent them from melting J1772 inlets, meaning slower charging on cars w/higher than 3.3 kW onboard chargers (e.g. Rav4 EV, FFE, 6.6 kW charger equipped '13+ Leafs, Tesla Model S, etc.). :rolleyes:

    Some EVs w/6.6+ kW onboard chargers have thermal monitoring at the inlet to prevent the inlet from melting if the temp gets too high, like the Fit EV. The Rav4 EV doesn't. I'm unclear on the others.

    A bunch of other folks w/Blink EVSEs at home have taken some temperature measurements and found a significant different in temps between the two power pins, which is an indicator of a bad crimp. It will likely be a problem when higher amperage is being drawn.
     
  13. John H

    John H Senior Member

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    With Tesla canceling the 40kWh option for the Model S today, the RAV EV becomes the replacement for those wishing to get a Tesla drive train in the 100 mile range.
     
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  14. artyking

    artyking Junior Member

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    It's a great start, great for the folks that drive 30-40 miles a day or so but for a lot of us the range will have to get better. I'm not so willing to putz around for 6 hours at a crack after a one hour drive. God help I try this on one of our 700 mile trips...I would get skinned alive.
     
  15. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Huh? The Rav4 EV is overkill for people who only drive 30-40 miles a day. Even the Leaf at an EPA rated range of 73-75 miles is sufficient for a 30-40 mile/day drive.

    Tony Williams put on 130 miles on a charge rental Rav4 EV before buying one: My Nissan Leaf Forum • View topic - Official Toyota RAV4 EV Thread and My Nissan Leaf Forum • View topic - Official Toyota RAV4 EV Thread. The Rav4 EV's range beats the pants off the Leaf. He's WAY happier w/the Rav4 EV's range and power (vs. the two Leafs he no longer has).

    Edmunds did a range test w/results at the bottom of Testing Electric Vehicles in the Real World. I don't like how they added the DTE showing to the driven amount. The DTE (distance to empty is aka the GOM (guess-o-meter on the Leaf) can be wildly inaccurate. They should've run each of the cars down to the equivalent of turtle.

    I was pointed to a review at Thank you Prius Chat Plug in Forum | Page 3 | PriusChat. At the 6 min mark, the reviewer does an acceleration test. :D

    I agree, a pure EV (except the Model S w/use of Superchargers) is a bad road-trip vehicle. Most people aren't like Tony (who did My Nissan Leaf Forum • View topic - Mexico to Canada via Electric Highway June 12-20, 2012 in his 2nd Leaf). Leaf has the benefit of CHAdeMO DC fast charging (where available) which takes a Leaf from 0 to 80% charge in ~30 mins. He was able to use that numerous times to get through OR and WA but only very sporadically in a few parts of CA.
     
  16. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Depending on your area it is more like a $35k vehicle. There are crazy incentives out there.
     
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  17. WE0H

    WE0H Senior Member

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    I like the look of the '13 RAV4 better :)

    Mike
     
  18. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    It's based on the now previous gen Rav4. :|
    Yep. For So Cal, if you put in a So Cal zip like 90024 to
    Toyota Dealerships - New & Used Car Deals & Special Offers | BuyAToyota.com
    , you'll see a $10K incentive WITH 0% financing, ending today. Thread on it at Toyota Rav4 EV Forum • View topic - $10,000 SoCal / $8800 NorCal Toyota Cash @ 0% by Apr 1, 2013.

    So, w/dealer discounting (example at Diannes SoCal Inventory and deals for the 2012 Rav4 EVs in March/April 2013 | PriusChat), not including tax and title, but after $10K incentive, $7.5k of Federal tax credit and $2.5K of CVRP (for CA residents), it ends up being under $30K.
     
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  19. jameskatt

    jameskatt Member

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    $36 for EV trip = 9 gallons regular gas.

    300 miles/9 gallons = 33.3 miles per gallon for the RAV4 EV.
    Additionally, you have to spend 18 hours charging. That is like wasting an entire day of the trip parked in a charging station.

    The 2013 Regular RAV4 gets 31 MPG on the highway. And you don't have to waste 18 hours to fuel it along a 300 mile trip. In fact, the gas tank carries enough fuel to last 492 miles. You don't even have to refuel for the entire trip.

    In this comparison, the gas-engined RAV4 wins by a long-shot. And it is half the price of the RAV4 EV. The savings in purchasing the regular RAV4 over the RAVEV is equivalent to driving 180,000+ miles for free when using the savings to purchase gas instead.

    In Hawaii, where electricity is extremely expensive, the RAV4 EV may simply make even less sense.
     
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  20. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    James, you did read that he paid twice the normal fee for hourly charging right? Even then the normal fee was high. For most people the EV would be much cheaper to run. Besides, no one is forking over $30k+ to save money. They are doing for many other altruistic reasons. :)
     
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