March 5, 2002
Actor/Environmentalist Ed Begley, Jr. buys first Toyota RAV4 electric vehicle
Hollywood, California – Popular actor/environmentalist Ed Begley, Jr. became the first retail customer of a Toyota RAV4-EV electric vehicle yesterday. Toyota began selling its zero emission RAV4-EV (electric vehicle) to fleet customers in 1997, but not to retail customers until this year.
Begley, Jr. has long been committed to numerous environmental causes including the reduction of smog-forming emissions in automobiles and the preservation of precious natural resources. In addition to his new RAV4-EV, he is also the owner of a Toyota Prius gas/electric hybrid vehicle.
“The RAV4-EV demonstrates Toyota’s commitment to the environment, the EV market and consumers like myself who are looking for a functional zero-emissions vehicle to meet their everyday needs,” said Begley, Jr. “I’m very excited and honored to be the first retail owner of a RAV4-EV in California.”
In 1997, Toyota began making the RAV4-EV available nationally through a special fleet lease program to major corporations, government agencies and utilities. Toyota has sold about 900 in the United States, 700 of those in California.
Beginning in 2003, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Zero Emissions Vehicle Mandate (ZEV) will take effect, requiring 10 percent of all new vehicles sold in California to meet low emissions standards, with two percent qualified as zero emission vehicles. As part of Toyota’s overall compliance effort, and in order to meet the zero emissions mandate, Toyota has begun offering RAV4-EVs to retail customers in California.
The RAV4-EV is powered by a maintenance-free, permanent magnet motor, producing 50kW of power (equivalent to a 67-horsepower gasoline engine). It has a top speed of 125 km/h (78 mph) and a range of 128 km (80 miles) to 162 kilometres (100 miles) per charges.
In the U.S., the RAV4-EV has a manufacturers suggested retail price of U.S.$42,000 (CAN$68,000) but a U.S.$9,000 (CAN$14,500) incentive from CARB and a U.S.$3,000 (CAN$4,800) IRS credit brings the price down to U.S.$30,000 (CAN$48,600) which includes an in-home charging device.