Machine Design

Behind The Wheel: Toyota's RAV4-EV

Added September 9, 1999

Toyota’s RAV4-EV -
charges into the future

The toyota rav4-ev is an electric version of the rav4 sport-utility vehicle. it combines a quiet and powerful electric motor with a high-capacity battery pack. a maintenance-free permanent-magnet ac motor produces 50 kw of power (67 hp). the vehicle accelerates from 0-to-60 mph in 18 sec and its top speed is 79 mph. the motor drives the front wheels through a single speed transaxle and, for reverse, the motor switches phase and spins in the opposite direction.

The nickel-metal-hydride battery pack has 24 individual 12-V modules, producing 288 Vdc. Charging is through a conductive system developed jointly by General Motors and Toyota. The conductive charger lets most of the components be located in the charger rather than on the vehicle, reducing mass and complexity. Full charges take about 6 hr and are good for 126 miles. Front discs and rear drums with ABS provide the stopping power. Also, a regenerative system recharges the batteries when the vehicle is coasting or braking.

Standard equipment includes dual air bags, heated windshield, rear-window wiper and defogger, heated driver and front passenger seats, power mirrors, windows, and door locks, and a heat-pump air conditioner with timer and preheat/precool settings. Rear seat heaters, a heavy-duty heat pump, and traction control are optional.

Toyota has not yet determined the vehicle’s availability for sale to the general public. However, development is ongoing as the RAV4-EV is a source of knowledge for drivelines in the Toyota hybrid system, fuel-cell electric vehicle, and the e-com electric concept vehicle.

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