From: Paul Geary, ENN
Published August 2, 2005 12:00 AM

Toyota to Keep Electric RAV4s in Service

According to a statement released by Irv Miller, Group Vice President, Corporate Communications Department, Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc., Toyota intends to keep the electric version of its popular small SUV, the RAV4, in service. The announcement comes after Ford saw pressure to keep its electric trucks in service.


The text of the statement:


"Toyota has a policy to keep RAV4 EVs in service for as long as they are sustainable. As a full electric zero-emission battery-powered vehicle, RAV4 EV played an important role in the lineup of Toyota’s environmentally responsible vehicles. RAV4 EV has served as a rolling laboratory to help test key technologies that have been incorporated into Toyota's hybrid vehicles that are now widely available to consumers. It featured advanced nickel-metal hydride batteries, a reliable electric drivetrain, an early form of energy-saving regenerative braking, and a computerized power management system.


"Toyota shares the commitment to keep environmentally advanced vehicles on the road as long as practical. Therefore, Toyota is communicating about its policy on supporting the U.S. RAV4 EV fleet. The policy includes procedures for sales and leasing, recycling, spare parts, and more. Some elements of this policy are new, but most have been in effect for years.


"RAV4 EVs are not being removed from service based solely on age or lease expiration.


"If the vehicle in operation is sustainable, Toyota is offering fleet lessees lease extensions as their leases expire. Retail lessees may renew their leases, purchase their RAV4 EVs, or return them, at their option.


"RAV4 EVs that are returned to Toyota and are determined to be supportable and safe to operate will be put back into service. They may enter the Toyota company fleet or be donated to community groups, including national and state parks. Determination of the usability of returned RAV4 EVs will be based on overall condition and the status of specific parts and systems such as the battery pack, inverter, and charging components.


"RAV4 EVs that are taken out of service will undergo a thorough recycling process to maximize recovery of materials while reducing exposure of substances of concern. Toyota is planning to make more replacement parts available for RAV4 EVs, some new, and perhaps some used."


In addition to its electric vehicles, Toyota has become known for its efforts to popularize hybrid vehicles. The company has an online newsletter with information about its industry-leading efforts at hybrid vehicle manufacture and marketing. The latest quarterly newsletter on Toyota hybrid vehicles can be seen at www.HybridSynergyView.com.Source: CSRwire, Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc.


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