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My week with the 2013 Toyota RAV4 EV

Last week our sponsor Toyota delivered a 2013 Toyota RAV4 EV to my house so I could drive it for a week. As soon as the friendly fellow who dropped it off went away, I jumped in and drove it around town. The first thing I noticed was how, in many ways, the 5-passenger RAV4 EV felt like a traditional gasoline-powered car. And that’s a good thing.

It’s roomy, comfortable, and solid (the latter quality no doubt due to the heavy batteries that make the electric model about 400 pounds heavier than its gas-powered sibling). The air conditioner was at least as good as, if not better, than a the aircon system in our Corolla.

The electric motor was somewhat quieter than a gas-powered car, but today’s cars are pretty quiet so that didn’t really leave an impression on me. The thing I did notice was how responsive the acceleration is. With a drivetrain built in collaboration with Tesla Motors, The RAV4 EV is one of the zippiest cars I’ve ever driven. In fact, I accidentally squealed the tires when driving out of my daughter’s school parking lot.


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