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 Post subject: My RAV4 EV Experiences (so far) ...
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 6:45 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 5:53 am
Posts: 1
Hi everyone! I just registered for this site. I got my white RAV4 EV in October. I'm glad there's this place for the 2,600 in the world who took (or will take) the leap of faith to get this car! I'm impressed that there are people outside of California who went to the extra effort to obtain a RAV4 EV.

I really like this car. The only problem I had once I got it was that it would not charge. It was at the dealership for a month. I know I'm not the only person this happened to.

Toyota Santa Monica and Toyota National were very apologetic and considerate; the problem was the Tesla charging unit and Tesla itself not prioritizing the repair. But once it got swapped out, it was and continues be to be great.

M-F, my mileage is low -- less than 5 miles to pick up my kids after school or run errands and commute. I don't own an EVSE, so on Sunday nights I give it an extended charge to make it through the week. Luckily, there's a place to charge the car within walking distance. On weekends I easily drive 60-70 miles a day taking my kids to their sporting events, etc. I recharge at night and make it through Saturdays and Sundays without a hitch.

My biggest adventure was driving it to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park from near Culver City, Calif. with my kids, my son's classmate and his dad. It was on a day CCUSD had a furlough day.

At more than 120 miles one way, I needed a plan, which was to drive halfway there (about 60 miles) to Mission Viejo the night before, stay overnight in a hotel to get an early start and fully charge the car at the Irvine Spectrum Center overnight (where there was a charging station) and get an Uber ride back to the hotel (which lacked an EVSE).

The first snafu: once I found it, the charging stations at the ISC were GE WattStations and I wasn't registered. But I had just received my Blink network card that week and via my iPhone, found there were EVSEs at a Carl's Jr. in Irvine. I left it to charge overnight and got an Uber right back to the hotel.

Next morning, after breakfast, I went back to the Carl's Jr. via another Uber ride. My advance research told me that there were EVSEs at the San Diego Zoo. I didn't know, however, that the Zoo and the Safari Park are separated by many, many miles, since I don't know the lay of the land down there.

If the Safari Park lacked EVSEs, that could be trouble. Fortunately, it did have 2 and no one else needed to use either one except me! I had to join a new network, but that was easy. While my party and I toured the park, the RAV4 EV charged up.

After we were done with the park, we headed north. We stopped for dinner at the same shopping center with the Carl's Jr. and I juiced up the RAV4 for another hour or so. As we left Orange County for L.A. County, it was interesting watching the range slip away. But I was pretty sure we could do it.

After dropping off my son's friend and his dad, we made it back to our place with less than 5 miles left! Charging it while eating made all the difference.

I'll share more adventures and thoughts later!

TM_TSLA (the stock tickers for Toyota Motor and Tesla)

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