Zythryn
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Re: Official Toyota RAV4 EV Thread

Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:40 pm

abasile wrote:
waidy wrote:In my situation, it loses 2-3 miles overnight in compares to my S which loses 8-14 miles pending on temperature at night.
Thanks! The S does seem to lose a lot, even relative to the larger size of the battery. Perhaps there remain other, significant, parasitic draws besides the TMS...
There are. The generally accepted loses per day is about 8 miles. Tesla is working on improving the sleep mode to bring that down to 2 miles.
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jspearman
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Re: Official Toyota RAV4 EV Thread

Sat Feb 16, 2013 9:59 pm

Except for the charge timer issue, we are absolutely loving the RAV after our first week. I'll lay out a few of my thoughts for anyone who is trying to make a decision on which car to buy, and if you live in California where the RAV is sold you have more choices than most.

First, It's a blast to drive, and the GOM is reasonably accurate. It doesn't tell you it will travel 112 miles and then only take you 70. My 80% charge consistently reads around 100 miles, and when my wife returns from her 26 mile commute, it reads right around 75. That alone makes this car priceless.

I thought I would be worried about the lack of a QC on the car, but honestly I don't anticipate it ever being an issue. If we think we need to drive it more we can charge to 100%, but I think the only time we'll ever do that is if we decide to drive to Tucson. That extra range really has alleviated a lot of stress and removed the more careful planning we needed to do with the Leaf. I think 100 miles is really the sweet spot, and everything above that number is icing, so I think a bigger battery would be wasteful for us since we don't take many long driving trips.

The Leaf is a much smoother ride, with the RAV driving much more like the truck that it is. A good bit of road noise from the tires, so the cabin isn't the same pristine driving experience as the Leaf. Tony complains of the whine from the motor in the RAV, as have others, but I haven't noticed this. The bumpiness of the ride has its charm and reminds me a little of driving my best friend's old FJ40 as it bounces around on the bigger tires, but unlike the FJ it feels super-speedy for such a big ride. I rarely switch into sport mode except for merging into traffic because it's too tempting to fly.

As you probably know, it has a 10kW charger, which is the good part. Unfortunately, the charge door is way back on the car, meaning I have to back it in at all the Blink chargers with their ridiculously short cords, and 99% of the public chargers in PHX are Blink. The good part is that we don't need to charge in public much, except with my Volt, which I charge about 2x week outside of the house. As I mentioned earlier, there are crazy issues with the charge timer, so you really have to start your charge before you go to bed if you want it to be charged the next morning. I'm certain this is a software fix that will hopefully be fixed soon. It's often very noisy when it's charging, which I assume is the TMS doing its work, but I'll be the last person to complain about a TMS making noise, especially when it's 115 outside.

Visibility is excellent, although the Leaf is a little better, IMHO. Way better than the Volt, which is like driving a submarine. A periscope would be a great improvement for backing up, and it could have easily been called the Chevy Blindspot instead of Volt. I wish the RAV backup camera had guidelines and metered markings, but it's a minor comlaint.

As for cargo space, of course the RAV wins by a landslide. Back seats fold flat, giving a ton of room for those outdoor chairs I need to buy tomorrow. The Leaf's cargo capacity isn't bad, and the Volt is good for groceries, but they really pale in comparison. There's also a nice, generously-sized compartment under the rear deck where you can store things you don't want thieves to see, like computers, your charge cord, etc. It's very handy.

I find the seats and driving position most comfortable in the Volt, and I like the more firm, supportive padding in the seats. To my eye the RAV seats look cheap, but they are comfortable enough, so no real complaints. I'm glad it's the most comfortable, since it's the car we would take on trips, and for the same reason I'm glad it has a great sounding stereo. Both our Leaf and the RAV had/have light colored interiors, and I'm not a fan. I'm glad the Leaf finally offers a darker interior color, and I appreciate the dark interior on my Volt, since it's the car my son rides in most days.

The Leaf sound system is better then the RAV (although the system in my Volt seems better still), and the Bluetooth calling is MUCH cleaner in the Leaf. The Volt Bluetooth, at least on the receiving end, is like talking to a Burger King drive thru, and two people have asked I not call them on it any more, but the sound is good enough inside the car. I plan to take it to Chevy and have them check this out. Bluetooth in the Toyota isn't bad, but isn't as clean as the Leaf. If you do a lot of business on the way to and from work, then this could be a serious consideration.

Speaking of noise, the RAV emits the most ear-spliiting, horrific noise when you shift into reverse. It's terrible, and I think it only makes noise inside the cabin, not out like the Leaf. You can apparently take it into a dealer and they can make it stop, so that's on my list. The Volt has options for almost everything, so you are able to rid yourself of all the annoying noises it makes (if they annoy you!).

The RAV's center screen, while generous in size, seems to be a step down from the Leaf and doesn't play nice with my polarized sunglasses, and I don't like the interface as much, but I do like how uncluttered the driver interface feels. The Leaf does a good job with this too, and I like that aesthetic. The Volt is an information dump, which is useful at times, but I feel like the interior is too cluttered with the plasticky, cheap-feeling touch-sensitive center console and the myriad number of buttons. One thing I do love about the Volt interface is the little zen ball on the driver's display, which you try to keep centered by driving efficiently. I like that much better than creating phony trees, since driving any kind of car isn't doing the environment a great favor. I do feel more centered when I drive efficiently, instead of speeding through traffic and stressing myself out.

The navigation feels better in the RAV, and seems to have more POI's in its database. It also doesn't screw with you when the autofill completes things and you click on the wrong address by accident. I hated that about the Leaf. The Toyota also gives you several route options on-screen, which I like, although I rarely use navigation since I know the city pretty well. I only have the OnStar nav in my car, so I can't really make an educated statement about the Volt's nav.

One place where the Leaf really shines is that both my wife and I felt like there was no learning curve, and almost everything about it felt intuitive. That's not been as true with the RAV, and especially not true with the Volt. I'm finally comfortable with all the Volt's controls, but only after a couple of weeks fiddling with everything, while it took me about three days to get comfortable with the RAV.

Those are my observations for now. I'll try to edit it more if I think of other things, but I just want to help others make an educated decision. All three cars are great in their own ways, so it really comes down to needs, location, and personal taste.

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evnow
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Re: Official Toyota RAV4 EV Thread

Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:50 pm

Thanks jspearman. Very useful comparison.

Have you talked to the local Toyota dealership about servicing the Rav4 ? If you haven't you can ask when you go there to get the reverse noise culled. Let me know what they say.

In particular I'm interested in finding out what happens if the car needs to be shipped to CA. Do they pay the up/down shipping ? Can I get a loaner in the meantime ?
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DaveinOlyWA
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Re: Official Toyota RAV4 EV Thread

Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:29 pm

great write up J. you are the 2nd person not so happy with the RAV drive feel and general suspension thingy. that would be a huge disappointment for me. my LEAF has really spoiled me on that part and its really emphasized when I drive other vehicles.

I think that Nissan really needs to step up the pack options. offer a bigger pack for those who want the range and are willing to pay for it. I have to agree that lately a 100 mile range would be very handy.

in the past week, I have done an 88 mile trip in the LEAF (had L2 charging at my destination and was there nearly 8 hours so plenty of time to charge) and another trip 86 miles in the Toyota because there was no charging. the Toyota is simply a drag to drive. there is no other way to put it.
2011 SL; 44,598 mi, 87% SOH. 2013 S; 44,840 mi, 91% SOH. 2016 S30; 29,413 mi, 99% SOH. 2018 S; 25,185 mi, SOH 92.23%. 2019 S Plus; 11,333.1 mi, 93.73% SOH
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cwerdna
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Re: Official Toyota RAV4 EV Thread

Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:48 am

Yeah, great writeup J.

Re: the reverse beep, does it sound like the Gen 3 Prius beeps (http://youtu.be/qzWltfX2y6Q?t=35s" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;)? I test drove the Rav4 EV 2x but don't recall if I put it in reverse. I just thought it was a bit funny that the shift knob is right out of a Gen 3 Prius. (On Gen 2 Prius, the reverse beeping sounds a bit different and can be disabled a weird sequence w/o any tools. On Gen 3, it requires Toyota Techstream or using a tool like a Scangauge to send the right CAN message. I lived with Gen 2 Prius' reverse beep for over 4 years, before I finally bothered turning it off.) Acceleration, esp. in sport mode is quite nice.

Yeah, I recall someone else saying the Rav4 EV's stereo is worse than the Leaf's. That's too bad given that there's no option for a better one.

What does the TMS sound like when it's charging? I was at a Tesla showroom years ago when only the Roadster existed. I recall hearing some pump running that IIRC sounded like water bubbling or dripping.

The public chargers being Blink in your area doesn't sound good. Hope you don't find your inlet getting damaged like Tony's.

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surfingslovak
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Re: Official Toyota RAV4 EV Thread

Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:58 am

cwerdna wrote:The public chargers being Blink in your area doesn't sound good. Hope you don't find your inlet getting damaged like Tony's.
I'm under the impression that ECOtality had a de-facto monopoly on public charging in the Phoenix metro area. It might be difficult to find anything else. I, too, am disappointed with the location of the charging port on my current EV. It's understandable, since it's essentially a factory conversion, much like the RAV4. I simply plan on backing into parking spots, which is a compromise I can live with. Great review, James.

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Re: Official Toyota RAV4 EV Thread

Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:50 am

surfingslovak wrote:
cwerdna wrote:The public chargers being Blink in your area doesn't sound good. Hope you don't find your inlet getting damaged like Tony's.
I'm under the impression that ECOtality had a de-facto monopoly on public charging in the Phoenix metro area. It might be difficult to find anything else. I, too, am disappointed with the location of the charging port on my current EV. It's understandable, since it's essentially a factory conversion, much like the RAV4. I simply plan on backing into parking spots, which is a compromise I can live with. Great review, James.
ya, if part of the EV Highway Project, they do have exclusive rights in a sense but still does not stop other companies from putting up chargers on their own dime.

the situation is the same in Seattle so you wont see AV (West Coast Green Highway Project) but there is SemaConnect and Chargepoint and soon to be Nissan and hopefully we can get some others in there as well.

i am surprised that none of the PUDs have stepped up with anything this side of the Cascades. OR has a lot of involvement from their local power companies...
2011 SL; 44,598 mi, 87% SOH. 2013 S; 44,840 mi, 91% SOH. 2016 S30; 29,413 mi, 99% SOH. 2018 S; 25,185 mi, SOH 92.23%. 2019 S Plus; 11,333.1 mi, 93.73% SOH
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jspearman
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Re: Official Toyota RAV4 EV Thread

Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:43 am

cwerdna wrote:Yeah, great writeup J.

Re: the reverse beep, does it sound like the Gen 3 Prius beeps (http://youtu.be/qzWltfX2y6Q?t=35s" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;)? I test drove the Rav4 EV 2x but don't recall if I put it in reverse. I just thought it was a bit funny that the shift knob is right out of a Gen 3 Prius. (On Gen 2 Prius, the reverse beeping sounds a bit different and can be disabled a weird sequence w/o any tools. On Gen 3, it requires Toyota Techstream or using a tool like a Scangauge to send the right CAN message. I lived with Gen 2 Prius' reverse beep for over 4 years, before I finally bothered turning it off.) Acceleration, esp. in sport mode is quite nice.

Yeah, I recall someone else saying the Rav4 EV's stereo is worse than the Leaf's. That's too bad given that there's no option for a better one.

What does the TMS sound like when it's charging? I was at a Tesla showroom years ago when only the Roadster existed. I recall hearing some pump running that IIRC sounded like water bubbling or dripping.

The public chargers being Blink in your area doesn't sound good. Hope you don't find your inlet getting damaged like Tony's.
Yes, that's the noise. I haven't driven a Prius in several years, so I didn't know the sound. I also find it funny, and a little ridiculous that the shift knob is a very tiny one from the Prius. Cost saving measure, I'm sure, since the parts were already being made in bulk.

The stereo isn't terrible, it's just not as good as the Leaf or the Volt. I was very surprised by the sound in my base model Volt. I hadn't owned an American car since the eighties, when I inherited a 70's Plymouth, so I wasn't expecting much.

The TMS makes a variation of one primary sound. Perhaps I should record and put on YouTube, since the sound was surprising and a little disconcerting at first. When you open the driver's door you hear the system kick into gear for a moment, even if not plugged in. Not sure what it's doing at that point besides maybe waking up the 12v. When plugged you eventually begin to hear a very loud buzz, but describing it as a buzz is not really right, since it's a good bit harsher. I don't even know what to compare it to, but sometimes that buzz is intermittent, sometimes it's constant, and sometimes I don't hear it at all and seems to go back to low hum. I'm guessing this behavior changes with the ambient temps. All I know is that it's the sound of my battery not cooking in the summertime:)

Blink does have a virtual lock on Phoenix, but I think it's because they have offices and a sales force here, not to mention a local tech (or techs). Their tech drives a Leaf with tag reading DRBLINK, as I caught him working on the one at Sky Harbor airport once. I think we have two Chargepoints in another part of the city, but I've never used them. I don't think I'll need to tap the network much, since I've seen no occasion for even a 100% charge yet.

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TonyWilliams
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Re: Official Toyota RAV4 EV Thread

Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:08 pm

I prefer the Rav4 stereo over the LEAF.

The idiotic cabin noise while in reverse is simple for the dealer to fix. I suspect any dealer who can fix a Prius can fix the Rav4. Mine just beeps once now.

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TonyWilliams
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Re: Official Toyota RAV4 EV Thread

Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:23 pm

cwerdna wrote:The public chargers being Blink in your area doesn't sound good. Hope you don't find your inlet getting damaged like Tony's.
Just carry a cheap IR thermometer and monitor it. Also, the simple fix done by Honda on the Fit and by Phil with his simple proximity signal interrupt at 70C.

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