07/16/13 10:12AM Green Cars, RAV 4, SUV, Toyota

Toyota RAV 4 EV

Green Vehicles

Toyota has already established itself as one of the leaders of the green vehicles market, as it is the creator of the Prius, one of the most eco-friendly vehicles ever made. Encouraged by the success of the Prius, Toyota decided to launch other hybrid and electric vehicles, and one of them was the electric version of the RAV 4. This SUV has been one of their most popular and best-selling models for more than a decade, and that's why they decided to offer an electric version of it. The 2013 RAV 4 EV is considered to be one of the best, most efficient fully electric SUVs.

What's different about the 2013 RAV EV, when compared to the first generation that was launched in 1997, is that Toyota has developed it in collaboration with a company that is specialized in producing electric vehicles, and has been quite successful at it. The company in question is Tesla Motors, the creators of the Tesla Roadster, the Model S and the Model X, vehicles that have been quite popular in the electric vehicles market. The collaboration between Toyota and Tesla was focused on the vehicle's powertrain. The RAV 4 EV is powered by a 115-kW electric motor, produced by Tesla, with an output of 154 horsepower and 220 lb-ft of torque.

There are two driving modes to choose from. When driving in Normal Mode, you can go from 0 to 60 mph in 8.6 seconds, and reach a top speed of 85 mph. If you select the Sport Mode, you'll will get from 0 to 60 mph in only 7 seconds, and the maximum speed will be increased to 100 mph. This SUV uses a 41.8-kWh lithium-ion battery, with a 129 kW power output. There are two charging modes, Normal and Extended. To get the maximum driving range, you should choose the Extended mode, which provides a range of 113 miles. It's a better range than most other electric or hybrid SUVs that are offered by Toyota's competitors. You can charge the battery to its full capacity in 6 hours.

On top of being fuel-efficient and eco-friendly, the RAV 4 EV is incredibly safe and features a refined, luxurious interior. When it comes to safety, it has the Star Safety System, which includes Brake Assist and Smart Stop Technology, as well as the standard Traction Control, Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Electric Brake-force Distribution and Anti-lock Braking System. There is also the Safety Connect feature, which provides you with assistance in case of an emergency, helps you locate the vehicle if it's stolen, and offers roadside assistance.

The downsides of this SUV include the fact that it's pretty expensive, costing $49,800, and that it's only available in California, at least during the first few years of production. But, it does have some very significant qualities. First and foremost, it has an excellent driving range, it has great acceleration and is quite fast for an electric SUV. Plus, it has top-of-the-line safety features and it handles very well, which makes it a pretty good choice for everyone who is into eco-friendly vehicles and likes vehicles that are spacious and have high storage capacities.

Author bio:

Jordan Perch is an automotive fanatic and “green cars” specialist. He is an author of many how-to articles related to safe driving, green technologies, auto insurance etc. Currently blogging for DMV.com.