Toyota Rav4 EV Forum

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 Post subject: Buying a Rav4 EV in Milwaukee
PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:44 am 
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I'm currently test driving [for 2 days] a 2014 Rav4 EV with 32K miles that's at a dealer in Milwaukee. One of two this dealer has. So far I really love this vehicle. It's quite, comfortable and handles pretty well for an SUV. This is my first EV and I want to thank all the knowledgeable people who post in the forum for sharing and helping me see the positives and pitfalls of the Rav4. At least I have the perception that I'm making an informed decision. Before I seal the deal I need to perform the "Tony Test" to check the battery degradation, which I hope will not be too high and send me walking.

I did have one question that could be answered by anyone who owns the vehicle. I was quite surprised when I plugged in to my 120V outlet and had an unexpected volume of buzzing made as its charging. With a dB app on my Ip6 I was getting about 52dB. Not to loud, but not expected. Does this sound normal or is this signs of an issue?


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 Post subject: Re: Buying a Rav4 EV in Milwaukee
PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 2:36 pm 
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Location: San Diego
When you do the Tony Test, just know that these batteries, like all batteries, will degrade. I would find it perfectly normal and acceptable to have 10 to 15% degradation at 50,000 miles and 15 to 20% at 100,000 miles.

All those charging sounds are here:

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=146

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 Post subject: Re: Buying a Rav4 EV in Milwaukee
PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:49 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:41 am
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Location: St. Louis
Just looked up the 2014 in Milwaukee, they had this listed at $18,600 two weeks ago. Is that a good deal?
Don't forget to get the platinum warranty.


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 Post subject: Re: Buying a Rav4 EV in Milwaukee
PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:50 pm 
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Location: Redwood City, CA
Olaf1974 wrote:
II did have one question that could be answered by anyone who owns the vehicle. I was quite surprised when I plugged in to my 120V outlet and had an unexpected volume of buzzing made as its charging. With a dB app on my Ip6 I was getting about 52dB. Not to loud, but not expected. Does this sound normal or is this signs of an issue?


The buzzing sound when charging is very normal. I think that this is the sound of the thermal control system (coolant pump?) that maintains the traction battery temperature when charging.

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 Post subject: Re: Buying a Rav4 EV in Milwaukee
PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:25 pm 
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Quote:
Just looked up the 2014 in Milwaukee, they had this listed at $18,600 two weeks ago. Is that a good deal?
Don't forget to get the platinum warranty.


A quick nation-wide look on Iseecars.com shows this price is about middle of the pack on price and mileage range, but more importantly, this one is already in Wisconsin. I'm also getting a Toyota warranty, obviously necessary for this vehicle. I have a spread sheet which accounts for gas, electricity and warranty costs. I could buy an equivalent used ICE for, $13,000 and it would cost me the same, but its not Green, still supports big oil and I miss out on the cool factor 8-) .

Even at that, after the test drive, I'm not 100% in yet. As I don't have a Level 2 charger at home, I had planned to use one at a local business to fully charge, then 120V at home to get it back to full, but I got turned way as it's for "employee use only". Plugshare.com didn't mention that :shock: , until someone else posted late last night they had the same issue. Unfortunately, that blew-up my plans and I never got to run the Tony Test. I did manage to find a charge point about 15 miles out of my way and gat 4 hours of 30A charge late in the evening, otherwise I would never have gotten back to the dealer without a tow truck. As I have to turn it in today, I guess I'll have to ask the dealer to run the test for me before I sign any papers. Overall, If I had a L2 charger at home I think it has the range to meet most of my needs. I have an ICE for the other rest.

My final concern still is service. While the dealer keeps trying to tell me they will support me, I know its all just sales smoke and they are under no obligation to lift a finger once I sign. I'm still trying to resolve that red flag in my head. Thought I read there was someone in Chicago who got service support, but I'm not sure those circumstances and if I'd get the same treatment. If anyone has any comments on that front, I'm listening.

The test drive itself has been pretty nice, just need to better plan any charging away from home and service.

Overall I have really enjoyed driving the vehicle.


Last edited by Olaf1974 on Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Buying a Rav4 EV in Milwaukee
PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:51 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:03 am
Posts: 106
Location: Hoffman Estates. IL
I live in Chicago (actually northwest suburbs) and have a 2013 RAV4 EV. I purchased it new and shipped it to Chicago.

It has only been serviced for recalls. The local dealer has some people in the service department who flat out want nothing to do with the vehicle but there are several that have helped me. I don't exactly know the reason for the dichotomy. I've been told (in 2013) that Toyota Corporate told them to "not touch the car". That policy seems to be different these days and there is a guy in the Corporate office who coordinates "out of state" service.

I have had ZERO issues in 25K miles. I do have the Platinum extended warranty but had no reason to see if it actually works.

Gene

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 Post subject: Re: Buying a Rav4 EV in Milwaukee
PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 1:53 am 
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Posts: 164
Location: Shoreline, WA
I live in Washington state and have had my 2013 here since 2014. Any Toyota dealer in the country can help with service as they're independently owned and operated. With the RAV4 EV due to it's deadly voltages they don't want non-EV trained service techs working on it. So early on, the mandate was to not even touch them. Making matters worse, the ONLY trained EV techs were at a select number of dealers in California and they wouldn't even allow out-of-state techs to go to CA to get the training. Several dealers here actively wanted and tried to pay for training, pay for the necessary equipment, and add the RAV4 EV to the list of cars they service. Corporate Toyota turned them down and refused to help them at all.

Instead, when warranty work has needed to be done, Corporate flies a certified tech to the dealer you've chosen (and who have agreed to it) and they do the work. I've had all three recalls done this way. I also have the Extended platinum warranty 8yr/125 miles. The car is now 4 model years old and I have 40-some thousand miles on it. Two local dealers still proclaim that they're not allowed to work on them because of corporate policy. Even when the Toyota corporate guy (Was Kevin Spillane, and now "Thorn") called them and told them they absolutely could help by setting up the service to be done in their shop by the EV specialist, they refused. So I took it to another Toyota dealer. They need to be clear that Toyota WILL work with them on service for our cars.

A level 2 (240V) EVSE is a basic need, in my opinion. 120v is just too slow for any kind of quick turnaround. The JdeMO from QuickChargePower gives you a whole new horizon of opportunities, but is obviously much more expensive than the L2 units. I bought the JESLA L2 from QCP because it's portable, has adapters for all kinds of outlets available (RV outlets, welding outlets, dryer outlets, regular 120, etc). I also did go for the JdeMO and absolutely LOVE IT.

Good luck on your hard decision. You will be buying a unique and very special mixed-race (Toyota-Tesla) vehicle that the folks on this board really like. But you're also buying into the potential of long delays on getting service as they figure out how its supposed to work, order unique parts from Toyota/Tesla, get them in, and schedule the appointment.

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 Post subject: Re: Buying a Rav4 EV in Milwaukee
PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 6:42 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:59 pm
Posts: 11
Thanks for the great comments. Glad to hear they take care of you if you have a warranty.

I was at the dealer to drop off the vehicle and press for some more information. He was expecting me to sign the sales contract. Instated, I sat down with the salesman and gave them a printout of the procedures to conduct the Tony Test. He asked me if I thought we could charge it by Saturday (end of the month). I told him there was a L2 charging station 4 blocks away and he should send a tech down the street to charge in a few hours. After he gave me some gentle push back, I just suggested he let me test drive it for a couple more days and I would do it myself. With little hesitation he agreed. Now that I have an understanding of how the public charging stations function I think I can get this done.

The other question I had for him is that he help me find a plan for how I'm going to get service for the EV parts should I need it. I tried to call Thorn earlier today to get some clarity on the service process, but the number simply led to the general call center. Because I did not have a claim number or actually own the vehicle they said I would have to get the dealer to call on my behalf. So I gave the dealer Thorns contact info.

Gene, would you be willing to share the name of your dealership where you have been getting your service. If I don't get answers from my dealer, maybe I'd give them a call.

These are the last two questions I have. If I get satisfactory answers I'm ready to give it a shot. In the end, if it really does not fit me and the car still works, I can always take a few financial lumps and trade it in.

I kind of knew, but after this test drive I really know how an L2 is a must. I'm going strait for the 40A.

I've been talking with my buddy about EV's for a few years. He resaved a Tesla 3 some time ago, but now its time for me to put my money where my mouth is.


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 Post subject: Re: Buying a Rav4 EV in Milwaukee
PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 12:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:03 am
Posts: 106
Location: Hoffman Estates. IL
Olaf1974 wrote:
Gene, would you be willing to share the name of your dealership where you have been getting your service. If I don't get answers from my dealer, maybe I'd give them a call.




I go to Schaumburg Toyota. It is in Schaumburg, Il. I last talked with service advisor Anthony who was friendly to the idea of future service.

In addition, Arlington Toyota (Arlington Hts, Il.) has been used by Corporate to do the EV recall work and they seemed to be amenable to future service.

Good luck.

Gene

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 Post subject: Re: Buying a Rav4 EV in Milwaukee
PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 4:28 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:59 pm
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For anyone interested in knowing, at 32K, the Tony test resulted in 136 miles. 136/146 = 93.2% or 6.8% degradation.

Guess I've decided I'm going to go for it. :D


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