Speaking to Roadshow, Jack Hollis, group vice president and general manager of Toyota North America, painted a bleak picture for the RAV4 EV’s return. He cited less-than-ideal market conditions for an all-electric RAV4 and seemed to call out automakers for insisting there’s an untapped market for electric vehicles right now.
“Is [the market] really there? Or are manufacturers forcing it to be there?” Hollis said.
The RAV4 EV was a compliance vehicle for the California market. The battery-electric crossover featured a Tesla-designed 41.8-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack that provided 103 miles of range.
Instead, Toyota will work on making the RAV4 Hybrid a well-rounded package, and it should boast even more horsepower than the standard RAV4. The brand did not disclose fuel economy estimates or power ratings yet, though the last RAV4 Hybrid returned an EPA-estimated 32 mpg highway. Toyota hinted the standard RAV4 may make 200 horsepower, so the Hybrid will likely get more than that.
We do know the 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid will pack a 2.5-liter inline-4 engine running the Atkinson cycle. The internal-combustion engine will be paired with Toyota’s latest generation two-motor hybrid system called THS-II. Most impressive is the powertrain’s thermal efficiency; the engine will occasionally manage a 41-percent thermal efficiency.
With more power than the conventional model and greater efficiency, Toyota hopes the Hybrid will find a home in more driveways across North America.