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Re: (ET) New Electrics

The wait list for the Toyota RAV4 EV was several months for those of us
lucky enough to buy one. Toyota started the program basically in May
and basically closed it in November. They had around 300 vehicles and
originally planned to market them over a 2 year period, but as the supply
only lasted 6 months. Afterward, the story was re-spun to fit a certain
message, but it remains a fact that demand far exceeded Toyota's

A few other points... during the 6 months of consumer RAV4 availability,
Toyota refused to offer it to any fleets, causing frustration to their 
large customers (including Southern California Edison, which by it self
consumed around 500 RAV4 EVs during the early/test/"fleet trial" years).

Most of the retail sales happened through just 2 dealers that each had
exactly 1 EV sales person who happened to be motivated. Interesting.
In both of those dealers, the Prius and RAVEV sales rates were at a
comparable volume (Prius was maybe 10% and 40% higher). Note that
the RAV4 EV cost more than TWICE as much as the Prius, not to
mention the required garage installation of an inductive home charger at
a cost of typically $1,000.

Were the RAV4EV offered nationwide, instead of at a handful of dealers,
and were the marketing open to all paying customers, it easily would
have sold in the thousands during the first year. An annual demand in
the tens of thousands could have been reached without much difficulty.

I'm disappointed to see that many members of this list have taken the
anti-EV public relations drivel.

The RAV4 EV is an excellent vehicle; mine already has 40,000 miles
in just 18 months---with NO maintenance other than tire puncture fixes.

Not everyone appreciates the features of electric power, but many
people do, and there is a market. Yes, low volume production is costly
expensive, and yes components in a good EV might be expensive.

But that's only part of the story. Toyota and some of the other car
companies dropped their EV programs not for technical limitations,
economics, or lack of market, but because for some reason they
want the electric products to go away.


At 01:01 AM 2/21/04 -0500, David Roden (Akron OH USA) wrote:
On 20 Feb 2004 at 20:10, Dave Fancher wrote:

> When they build EV's that looked and
> performed like modern cars they started to succeed i.e. -- the six
> month plus wait list for a Toyota. Honda is taking the same approach.

But - forgive me for popping this balloon in your bundle - these are not EVs. They are gasoline-powered cars that happen to use electricity for some part of
the drive system - for energy recovery during braking and/or as an electric

As their ads point out, you never (have to) plug them in.  All the energy
comes from gasoline.  They are not EVs.  They are not even really hybrids,
though they call themselves that.

The reason they've succeeded is just as you say: they "perform like modern
cars."  At the user level, they work almost exactly like the gas cars that
consumers are familiar with, including (and particularly) the fuel they 
Even better, they use less of that fuel.  For Jane Doe, what's not to like?

David Roden - Akron, Ohio, USA
1991 Solectria Force 144vac
1991 Ford Escort Green/EV 128vdc
1970 GE Elec-trak E15 36vdc
1974 Avco New Idea 36vdc
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Cutting the space budget really restores my faith in humanity.  It
eliminates dreams, goals, and ideals and lets us get straight to the
business of hate, debauchery, and self-annihilation.

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