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What is the likelihood of Toyota rolling out Hyrbid RAV4s from its Woodstoock, Ontario plant upon its completion in 2008 ?
 

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Junky said:
What is the likelihood of Toyota rolling out Hyrbid RAV4s from its Woodstoock, Ontario plant upon its completion in 2008 ?
I read in one of the rags that Toyota had no plans for a hybrid RAV, but who knows.
 

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I've heard that Toyota will be offering ALL vehicles in a hybrid version within a few years :?

2008 might be pushing it a little for the RAV4. My guestimate would 2009 or 2010... if it happens :roll:
 
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toyota has said that they will NOT offer hybrid in Rav4. Platform was not designed to offer hybrid powertrain...
 

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Toyota reps claimed that the RAV4.3 platform cannot accomodate a Toyota-style hybrid drivetrain even as a retrofit, so RAV4 needs a generation change before a hybrid version can be offered. They didn't make it clear what the problem was though, was it as simple as the motor bay's dimensions or something trickier. I read about it in Car & Driver, IIRC.
 

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I certainly don't see how the RAV *couldn't* have a hybrid model, but I'm also not an automotive engineer, so I suppose I'm just taking a layman's view.

I think the underfloor space in the cargo area is the *perfect size* for a battery pack, the RAV is about as state-of-the-art as any high volume production Toyota currently on the market, and at least some of the technology used in conjunction with Toyota's hybrids is already in use with the RAV: a CVT transmission and keyless pushbutton start. I too, remember the president of Toyota being quoted as saying that ALL Toyotas, soon enough, will have a hybrid option available.

I'm sure the Highlander was never originally designed to be a hybrid, especially since Toyota had no real idea that the Prius and hybrid craze would take off as well as it did. The original Highlander (which has yet to change from the first generation model) was launched at the same time as the RAV4.2 back in 2001 and had to be engineered years in advance. But hey, it exists *now*, right?
 
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If Toyota says the 4.3 platform will not take the hybrid retrofit then I would say you won't see it until a 4.4 platform. Maybe it could be done - but their comment/attitude indicates it won't be done.

I got the same <can't be done> regarding a V6 in the 4.2 back in 2001 when I test drove it and I said "this thing needs more power, do you think they'll ever drop a V6 into it?"

So, don't hold out hope since the 4.3 platform will probably be made for 5 years with minor upgrades just like the previous two platforms. If you like it, buy it. You can always trade up later. The Toyota resale value is much better than average. You can't go wrong.
 
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karrock said:
I certainly don't see how the RAV *couldn't* have a hybrid model, but I'm also not an automotive engineer, so I suppose I'm just taking a layman's view.

I think the underfloor space in the cargo area is the *perfect size* for a battery pack, the RAV is about as state-of-the-art as any high volume production Toyota currently on the market, and at least some of the technology used in conjunction with Toyota's hybrids is already in use with the RAV: a CVT transmission and keyless pushbutton start. I too, remember the president of Toyota being quoted as saying that ALL Toyotas, soon enough, will have a hybrid option available.

I'm sure the Highlander was never originally designed to be a hybrid, especially since Toyota had no real idea that the Prius and hybrid craze would take off as well as it did. The original Highlander (which has yet to change from the first generation model) was launched at the same time as the RAV4.2 back in 2001 and had to be engineered years in advance. But hey, it exists *now*, right?
the thing is that Toyota currently cant produce anywhere enough hybrids, so they probably determined that they dont need one for rav4, when they have great mpg for even V6 in USA, and great mpg for diesels in Europe.
 

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I finally found an article where Ernest Bastien, "vice president of vehicle operations for Toyota's U.S. marketing division" said that "No hybrid version of the RAV4 is planned...". OK. Guess that's concrete enough. The dream is over, right? :(

But! I read farther on and saw "Toyota builds the RAV4 at two factories in Japan, and has no plans to build the vehicles in North America..." Really! Woodstock, Ontario, Canada ring a bell for anyone? :wink:

I'd like to say that the article was written before plans for the Woodstock RAV4 plant were revealed to the press, but that particular nugget of information was announced six months prior to the date of this review... :lol:

So! With a grain of salt and a firm belief that some marketing-types only speak truths when the situation permits, I certainly do envision that the 4.3 platform is indeed capable of harboring a hybrid powertrain.

What I'm sure is currently the case at Toyota is a shortage of critical hybrid components and the desire to not cannibalize sales of the Prius, Highlander and RX400 Hybrids (as well as the home market Alphard).
 
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I keep reading stuff about Toyota planning to sell 1 million Hybrids by 2010 or something. Considering that their plant is coming up in 2008 do you think this might be one of their moves towards attaining the 1 million goal.
 
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I really dont see it happening for Rav4. Its coming for Camry and probably new Corolla as well, thats huge volume just there.

Toyota already sold 500,000 hybrids by October 2005, so their goals are changing fast. They plan to produce around 400,000 hybrids this year alone (last year was around 300,000).
 

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Why would Toyota make any promisses that a Hybrid Rav 4 was in the works? How would that help sales of the 4.3 if everyone knew a hybrid was around the corner? Asking your currrent Toyota to last another year or two is no-brainer for most owners, so you better believe they'll hold off on a new purchase.

I believe Toyota makes very little money off of Hybrids, so until they get a more effecient production method, or cheaper batteries, they'll push toward the gas units. If competition heats up, then it'll be another story.

I think you're more likely to see Lexus putting out additional Hybrid models. Greater profit margins help offset the technology costs.
 

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Lots of good points were made, and Karrok is absolutely right that Highlander was a retrofit. I just happen to know that simplest things can be surprisingly difficult in engineering. It is not a simple mix and match of components, unfortunately. I remember the story of the turbocharged Neon only too well (well, they actually did it... after the generation change in 2000). You guys should have seen the aftermarket turbos on 1G. Some of them needed new hoods, natch. So, it was easy for me to take Toyota's assurances on the face value. But yeah, they may be lying to us, then turn around and say, "We only said ``have no plans''. Well, we had no plans and now we do!" There's no telling without the data.

If they _were_ telling the truth, it may be something as simple as the driveshaft terminating in an inconvenient location in front. Wouldn't it be funny if they decide to offer a hybrid with FWD only?
 
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Discussion Starter #15
The next generation Rav4 will probably run on hydrogen fuel cells.

 
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Discussion Starter #19
Hybrids are might be better for you wallet at the pump, but they might not be better than regular cars for their overall environmental impact.

If you want to go green, according to this study, buy a Scion xB...

http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/060331/sff031.html?.v=38

The most Energy Expensive vehicle sold in the U.S. in calendar year 2005: Maybach at $11.58 per mile. The least expensive: Scion xB at $0.48 cents.

While neither of those figures is surprising, it is interesting that driving a hybrid vehicle costs more in terms of overall energy consumed than comparable non-hybrid vehicles.

For example, the Honda Accord Hybrid has an Energy Cost per Mile of $3.29 while the conventional Honda Accord is $2.18. Put simply, over the "Dust to Dust" lifetime of the Accord Hybrid, it will require about 50 percent more energy than the non-hybrid version.
 
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