223 Miles in Toyota's Tesla-Based SUV
Luckily, if you live in California, Toyota
You can have the base Tesla for as little as $71,000. Toyota sells its SUV version with a similar Tesla electric motor and a smaller battery for $51,000. However, unlike Tesla, it offers a $9,300 discount. Both cars are eligible for $10,000 in tax incentives for Californians.
That means the Toyota can be had for $32,000 before sales tax, compared to $61,000 for the Tesla Model S -- approximately half the price. Obviously, Tesla's average selling price is much higher than $61,000 given plenty of options available, with a potential for over $110,000. The Toyota's only options are a choice of three colors.
In the Toyota, the Tesla electric motor has been moved from the back of the car to the front. The battery sits under the floor, and you can choose to charge it to 35 kWh or 41.8 kWh. Over a variety of conditions, including the cold/warm seasons, you should expect to average almost three miles per kWh for a typical range of 95 to 115 miles.
The Toyota RAV4 EV occupies a unique space in the plug-in car market today. There is nothing like it, and there may never be. What do I mean by that?
On the one hand, we have cars such as General Motors'
On the other hand, we have the Tesla Model S. It is blisteringly fast, 0-60 miles per hour in 4.4 seconds. In contrast, the Tesla-based Toyota can't match it to the millimeter.
However, the Toyota feels faster than the Tesla Model S, in an old-world sense of the experience. A key reason for this: the tires. Whereas the Tesla Model S rides on wide, low-profile tires, the Toyota has very regular -- and dramatically less expensive -- narrow SUV highway tires.