The Toyota RAV4 Plug-In Hybrid SUV: The Complete Guide For The UK

Toyota RAV4 plug in hybrid electric SUV
Price: £43,635
Type of electric vehicle: Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Body type: SUV
Battery size: 18.1 kWh
Electric range (WLTP): 46 miles
Tailpipe emissions: 22g (CO2/km)

Overview


Toyota Motor Corporation, known simply as Toyota, is a leading global automotive company. The company is one of the largest automobile manufacturers in the world and is headquartered in Aichi, Japan. The company has already established an enviable track record for the development and marketing of environment friendly hybrid vehicles. Toyota has one of the largest portfolios of mild hybrid electric vehicles (MHEVs), currently 11 hybrid models. It is also a world leader in fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). The company currently has a portfolio of the following fully electric and plug-in electric vehicles:

Apart from the ubiquitous Toyota brand, the company also owns the Hino, Lexus, Ranz and Daihatsu brands.



Electric Cars: The Basics


For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we recommend a read of the following articles:


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The Toyota RAV4 PHEV SUV


The RAV4 is a compact SUV and the first compact crossover from the Japanese manufacturer. It was introduced in 1994. The acronym RAV was derived from ‘Recreational Activity Vehicle’. The plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) variant was launched in 2019 at the LA Auto Show. Sales commenced in Japan in 2020.

Despite the RAV4 SUV being launched many decades ago and Toyota’s leadership in hybrid technology, surprisingly the PHEV variant was introduced rather late. Nevertheless, despite the increased competition in the compact SUV segment, the RAV4 plug-in hybrid has much to offer, for both families and company car drivers.

The Toyota plug-in hybrid SUV has a 18.1 kWh onboard EV battery, with a WLTP certified zero-emission electric range up to 46 miles. Both the EV battery size and the claimed emission-free electric range, are above average, when compared to other PHEVs in this segment.

Though the real-world EV range will be lower, possibly closer to 40 miles (emission-free), the EV still has much to offer those keen to save money by driving on electric mode. Depending on the cost of charging, driving an electric car will cost between 5 pence and 10 pence per mile i.e. far cheaper compared to calling on the internal combustion engine (ICE). A 40 miles EV range can be leveraged for both city and motorway driving.

Taking advantage of the EV range will also require inculcating a habit of charging the EV on a regular basis, which again is as easy as charging a smartphone. We at e-zoomed discourage the use of a domestic 3-PIN plug for charging an electric car. A ‘topping up’ approach to charging will help improve the overall efficiency of the vehicle and also improve the long-term maintenance of the onboard EV battery. Toyota offers a class-leading 10 years or 150,000 miles warranty. The PHEV has a 6.6 kW onboard charger and can be fully charged in 2.5 hours.

Of course, driving regularly on the electric mode will further improve the fuel economy of the electric vehicle i.e. lower motoring costs. The automotive manufacturer claims a fuel economy up to 282.4 mpg, but achieving anything close to this, will require taking advantage of the e-mode! In any case, the PHEV will deliver a better fuel economy, compared to the conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) variant (47 mpg).

In terms of performance, the Toyota RAV4 is decent. The electric vehicle (EV) combines a 2.5-litre hybrid AWD-i petrol engine with an onboard electric motor, powered by the EV battery. Despite the additional weight of the EV battery, the RAV4 SUV PHEV can achieve 0-62 mph in 6.0 seconds. This performance is not shabby! The Toyota plug-in electric car delivers 306 HP maximum power and 270 Nm torque. Top speed is 111 mph. Of course, on the pure electric mode, the drive is more refined and quieter.

The interior cabin is spacious and practical, however, it may not feel as premium as the price tag. Toyota offers a host of feature and technology, to include: Toyota Touch 2 with Go Navigation, 9″ Toyota Touch 2 multimedia system with smartphone integration (Apple CarPlay & Android Auto), follow-me-home headlights, 7″ multi-information screen, adaptive cruise control, voice recognition switch on steering wheel, reversing camera, pre-collision system with day & night-time pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane departure alert and more. The all-wheel drive PHEV offers reasonably good headroom and legroom for passengers. The boot space is compromised due to the placement of the onboard EV battery (520 L), but remains useful!

Company-car drivers can take advantage of the lower Benefit-in-Kind (BiK-8%) tax rate for the PHEV, given the lower tailpipe emission of the PHEV (22g CO2/km). The EV does not qualify for the UK government plug-in car grant (PiCG).


PROS CONS
Larger EV battery compared to other PHEVsInterior quality has room for improvement
Good EV range and cheap to run on electric mode More expensive compared to some rivals
All-wheel drive (AWD) as standard Onboard charger limited to 6.6 kW

Gallery


The Toyota RAV4 PHEV (credit: Toyota)


At A Glance
EV Type:Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Body Type:SUV
Plug-In Car Grant (PiCG):Not Available
Engine:Petrol-Electric
Available In UK:Yes

Variants (2 Options)
Design (from £43,635)
Dynamic (from £45,250)

EV Battery & Emissions
EV Battery Type:Lithium-ion
EV Battery Capacity:Available in one battery size: 18.1 kWh
Charging:DC charging not available. Onboard charger: 6.6 kW AC (0% – 100%: 2.5 hours)
Charge Port:Type 2
EV Cable Type: Type 2
Tailpipe Emissions:22g (CO2/km)
Warranty:10 years or 150,000 miles

Average Cost Of Residential Charging
Battery net capacity : 8.8 kWh £1.27
Battery net capacity : 11.6 kWh£1.67
Battery net capacity : 12.0 kWh£1.73
Battery net capacity : 13.10 kWh£1.89
Battery net capacity : 14.10 kWh£2.03
  • Note 1: The average cost of residential electricity in the UK varies depending on the region, supplier and type of energy used. An average for the UK is 14.40 p/kWh.
  • Note 2: Not all EV manufactures make available the data on net EV battery capacity, and in a number of instances the EV battery capacity advertised, does not state if it is gross or net capacity. In general, usable EV battery capacity is between 85% to 95% of the gross available capacity.

Charging Times (Overview)
Slow charging AC (3 kW – 3.6 kW):6 – 12 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SOC)
Fast charging AC (7 kW – 22 kW):3 – 8 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging AC (43 kW):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)

Dimensions
Height (mm):1690
Width (mm):1855
Length (mm):4600
Wheelbase (mm):2690
Turning Circle (m):10.6
Boot Space (L):520

2.5 Petrol Hybrid AWD-i
EV Battery Capacity:18.1 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):46 miles
Electric Energy Consumption (Wh/km):N/A
Fuel Consumption (mpg):282.4
Charging: DC charging not available. Onboard charger: 6.6 kW AC (0% – 100%: 2.5 hours)
Top Speed:111 mph
0-62 mph:6.0 seconds
Drive: All-wheel drive (AWD)
Max Power (hp):306 (hybrid system output)
Torque (Nm): 270 (hybrid system output)
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:5
Doors:5
Kerb Weight (kg):1,930-1,995
Colours:5
NCAP Safety Rating:Five-Star

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Author

Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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