HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Captain Hybrid
Electric RAV4 Rolls Off Toyota Line
6/5/2012

Toyota's RAV4 EV is a niche vehicle for sophisticated early adopters. (Source: Toyota)
Toyota's RAV4 EV is a niche vehicle for sophisticated early adopters.
(Source: Toyota)

Return to Article

View Comments: Oldest First|Newest First|Threaded View
<<  <  Page 2/3  >  >>
benmlee2
User Rank
Gold
Takes Time
benmlee2   6/6/2012 11:54:07 AM
People pay $40K+ for BMW ego. Others want to pay the same for the environment. Is not a practical car, and is not a status car. But you are paying for the R&D for the possibility of a better future for all. Somebody has to do it. I applaud Toyota for trying and people for buying a plain RAV4 with out the three letters "BMW" on the hood just so they can help the cause. Because they will never get any admiring stares from others like with BMW. If you got $40k to burn anyway, which would you choose?

My dad got the first Apple II. It was very expensive. Mom asked what can it do. He can't give a good answer. It was a dream. He was the early adaptor. It was never useful for anything. We loved the games though to dad's chagrin. Yet, in time, it changed the world. Nothing wrong with buying into a dream. Somebody has to be first. Dad so happen to have the money at the time.

Bunter
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Takes Time
Bunter   6/6/2012 1:00:44 PM
NO RATINGS
Hi Ben,

An EV is "not a status car"-I question that.  Different groups measure status diferently.

I have no problem either with someone "buying a dream" to help the enviroment-if they think it will.  But, they will get a huge status boost in the "green" community they belong to.  We all like "our group" to think well of us.

The early PCs carried technology status also-I remember it well.

Think it over.

Regards,

Dennis

benmlee2
User Rank
Gold
Re: Takes Time
benmlee2   6/6/2012 1:50:54 PM
This particular electric car is not a "status car". There are electric cars like Tesla or Fisker Karma that actually look exotic, and people admire. RAV4 is just not one of them.

There are people who only do things when "camera is rolling". Many people will also pick up plastic bottle on a remote trail when nobody is watching. They will also carry the extra weight to take the trash out. It take many of the second type of people to make a good society.

GlennA
User Rank
Gold
Different priorities, other statuses
GlennA   6/6/2012 2:45:12 PM
NO RATINGS
BenMLee2;  Yes, there are many different types of people.  When I heard that the all-electric Rav4 was coming out, I wanted to find out when and where.  Even though I wouldn't pay the current price, I was disappointed that it is supposed to be for the California market only, not sold nationally.  There are people that separate their recyclables, while for others everything is trash.  I was passed by a Cadillac Escalade a few days ago, and I noticed the 'Hybrid' marking.  I don't know if anyone else noticed it.  I drive an Aspen hybrid, and I notice other Aspens, and Durangoes, but I haven't seen another Aspen Hybrid.

The all-electric Rav4 will not be completely invisible.  The owners will have certain people stop them to ask about their EV.  And that does carry a certain 'status' in certain circles.

Bunter
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Takes Time
Bunter   6/6/2012 4:12:00 PM
NO RATINGS
Hi Ben,

Thanks for your thoughts. I think you are equating status with showy or noticeable.  GlennA's examples demonstrate that the "in crowd" for a given product will know.  And those are the "ones that matter".

It is easy to see status seeking in other groups and miss it on our home turf-we all like to picture "our group" as the "normal ones".  Personal example-I ride a '98 VFR (Honda).  I get a little kick out of the fact that it is a V-4 not an inline-4 engine like other sport bikes.  I don't care if others notice but I know other Viffer riders "get it".  There's more. The '98-'01 VFR motors had gear driven cams-more exclusive yet. Again, it matters not if others note it, "we" (gear cam VFR owners) see ourselves as a separate group.  In fact I like that it is a low-key, publicly invisible form of status-that is appealing to me.  And others.

E-RAV4 guys will notice each other and all the other EV enthusiasts will notice them. Status.  It is not necessarily bad-it just is.

Cheerio,

Dennis

cvandewater
User Rank
Gold
Re: Takes Time
cvandewater   6/6/2012 7:17:15 PM
NO RATINGS
Funny you mention BMW and EVs. I happen to own 2 5-series (540i and 530i) one automatic, one stick shift. However, I drive to work in my EV (old converted Ford truck). why would I? Driving it should not be possible according to some the truck should not be viable - it only has 40 miles of range, but because it has a standard 110V plug, I can literally plug in everywhere (even at work) so it is no issue to commute and even the occasional errand can easily be included. Probably in future the truck gets upgraded to better batteries, but for now it does what I need it for - allow me to drive around town without tailpipe. I smile more in the truck then when sitting in traffic idling the BMW V-8 engine.

Now, if I happen to go on a road trip, that is another story.

If you can't afford to have more than one car, then the easy solution is to get an EV for daily use and rent a petrol/diesel-burner for long trips. That may cost as little as $20 for a whole day so there is not really a need to keep an ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) car around if you have little use for it.

Regarding RAV4's sitting on lots? Time will tell. As remarked before, earlier RAV4EV were in such high demand that there is little chance to find one unused sitting on a lot. If you know of one, tell me.

mcquade181
User Rank
Iron
Re: Alternate thought on "price"
mcquade181   6/6/2012 8:31:29 PM
NO RATINGS
The rapid advances in battery and graphene supercapacitors, suggests that your 25-30 year reliance on the IC engine is way, way off.

Batteries are likely to be half the price within 2 years and super capacitors viable within 5 years. This suggests a quite rapid reduction in the cost to build electric cars, and of course a ramp up in numbers being sold.

I suspect most of us will be driving EVs in 10 years time and those vehicles will be similarly priced to todays IC vehicles.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Takes Time
Charles Murray   6/7/2012 6:57:29 PM
NO RATINGS
Dennis, I agree with you. Different groups measure status differently. I've said before: EVs are high-end cars with consumers who have a new definition of luxury.

Bunter
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Alternate thought on "price"
Bunter   6/8/2012 10:46:00 AM
NO RATINGS
Hi mcquade,

"Batteries are likely to be half the price within 2 years and super capacitors viable within 5 years."-I think you will need to provide more than just a statement here.  As discussed in a number of previous forums battery development is a) slower than many (media, public, polititians) expect b)the batt is only a portion of the cost c) range, size, weight and recharge issues are all part of the barriers to the wide spread implimentation of EVs as personal transportation.

But for fun let's say the price is halved-Toyota's engineers (who know more about the cost of battery systems in commercially viable, profitable cars than anybody) put the system price at $500/mile range.

So let's generously assume that the packaging, cooling and electronics also cut in half.  $250/mile X 100 miles=$25000 just for the battery pack, plus a car to put it in. $40k easy, for a vehicle that goes 100 miles and takes hours to refuel-if you can find an outlet.

And please don't say "the Leaf costs less already".  Nissan loses a pile on each one.  To become a real choice EVs need range, quick recharge, affordability, charging availibility and the companies need to be able to make a profit selling them.

25-30 years is conservative in my opinion.

Cheerio,

Dennis

Bunter
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Takes Time
Bunter   6/8/2012 10:46:52 AM
NO RATINGS
Thanks Charles.

Dennis

<<  <  Page 2/3  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs from Captain Hybrid
Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne has again committed the colossal sin of speaking plainly, and electric vehicle advocates arent happy about it.
Electric vehicle batteries are progressing rapidly, but theres still no sign on the horizon that the technology is going to revolutionize the auto industry anytime soon, experts said at The Battery Show in Detroit last week.
An engineering team from Ohio State University has set its sights on the unimaginable -- driving 400 mph in an electric vehicle.
Weve collected photos of electric cars, designed for both the neighborhood blacktop and the commercial dragstrip. From the Crazyhorse Pinto and the Killacycle motorcycle to the Tesla Roadster and the 500-HP Renovo Coupe, we offer a peek at the blistering performance of the electric powertrain.
Tesla Motors might be planning to boost the driving range of its two-seat Roadster to 400 miles.
Design News Webinar Series
10/7/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
9/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
9/10/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Oct 20 - 24, How to Design & Build an Embedded Web Server: An Embedded TCP/IP Tutorial
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: 10/28-10/30 11:00 AM
Sponsored by Stratasys
Next Class: 10/28-10/30 2:00 PM
Sponsored by Gates Corporation
Next Class: 11/11-11/13 2:00 PM
Sponsored by Littelfuse
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service