Toyota to Begin Selling Zero Emission RAV4-EV To California Retail Customers

    SACRAMENTO, Calif., Dec. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Toyota Motor Sales (TMS),
 U.S.A., Inc. announced today that it will begin offering the RAV4-EV (electric
 vehicle) to retail customers in California beginning in February 2002.
     The Toyota RAV4-EV is a zero emission, state-of-the-art electric version
 of Toyota's popular RAV4 sport utility vehicle (SUV).  The announcement was
 made at the 2001 Electric Transportation Industry Conference and Exposition.
     In 1997, Toyota began making the RAV4-EV available nationally through a
 special fleet lease program to major corporations and utilities.  Today,
 RAV4-EV is one of the best-selling electric vehicles in the country with more
 than 900 in service nationwide, including 700 on the road 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
 will begin offering RAV4-EVs to retail customers in February 2002.
     "Being one of the first EVs to market demonstrates Toyota's commitment to
 the environment, CARB, the EV market and consumers who are looking for a
 functional zero-emissions vehicle to meet their needs," said Ernest Bastien,
 TMS corporate vehicle marketing manager.  "The RAV4-EV combines the best of
 both worlds.  It is 100 percent emissions-free and has 100 percent of the
 versatility of an SUV."
     The RAV4-EV is powered by a maintenance-free, permanent magnet motor,
 producing 50kW of power (equivalent to a 67-horsepower gasoline engine).  It's
 a real vehicle with a top speed of 78 mph, and provides style, room,
 practicality and utility.  With a range between 80 and 100 miles per charge,
 RAV4-EV can be used to meet most daily driving needs.
     As a compact SUV with seating for five and space for cargo, the RAV4
 offers a level of flexible use that other EVs are unable to match.  Standard
 equipment includes such popular features as four-wheel anti-lock brakes, alloy
 wheels, dual front airbags, air conditioning, power-operated mirrors, windows
 and door locks, and a deluxe sound system with a CD player.
     The RAV4-EV will have a manufacturers suggested retail price (MSRP) of
 $42,000, but a $9,000 incentive from CARB and a $3,000 IRS credit will bring
 the price down to $30,000, which includes an in-home charging device.  There
 will also be three special introductory lease options, which also include the
 use of the charger.
     When RAV4-EV goes on sale in February, Toyota will have a participating
 dealer in every major metro market in California.  Like the Prius gas/electric
 hybrid vehicle, customers will have the ability to communicate and order the
 RAV4-EV on-line and take actual delivery through a participating dealer.
     Public website:
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SOURCE Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

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