Toyota RAV4 EV Gets New Lease Incentives In Bid To Increase Sales

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Toyota’s making big moves with regard to leasing incentives in an effort to boost the flagging sales of its RAV4 EV. To be exact, a total of $16,500 in lease incentives will now be available to those looking to give the compliance-market EV a go.

The EV was originally created simply as a means of meeting California regulations, but sales in the state aren’t high enough. As per regulations, Toyota needs to move 2,600 of them over a 3-year period that started back in September 2012. As of March 31st, 1,525 of the vehicles have sold — the sales have been very uneven, though, so it’s hard to predict where exactly sales will go in the future.

You’d think with the Tesla-designed powertrain under its hood that the EV might have a bit more of a following — it’s a 41.8-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack rated at 103 miles of range. But when you look at the price ($49,800, plus a mandatory $860 delivery fee), and consider the other options available, the modest sales begin to make more sense. The new lease incentives might help to address that, though.

Green Car Reports provides more:

We’ll say up front that the leasing math is complicated. While California residents may see the RAV4 EV advertised with monthly lease payments below $300, there are some very important caveats to that number.

According to Dianne Whitmire of Carson Toyota — who has sold dozens of the electric crossovers — most leases end up with monthly payments of $450 to $500. One alluring feature, she added, is that a wide variety of leases are offered–from as little as 10,000 miles a year to completely unlimited mileage, a popular option among road-warrior Californian family buyers.

The $16,500 Toyota lease allowance generally gets split several ways, she says: It’s allocated among the first month’s payment, a reduction in the capital cost, registration and licensing fees, and most importantly, taxes.

The state of California taxes the lease-reduction amount, and different counties in that state have sales tax rates ranging from 7.25-10.5% 8-10%. So it’s important to know that the $299 or $329 monthly leases specifically do not include payment of any sales taxes, which can reach $4,000 depending on county.

Something else to note, if you’re looking to buy instead of lease, is that there isn’t that much available as far as incentives go. Toyota’s purchase incentive is only $2,500, while the federal income-tax credit for EVs is up to $7,500. Still, that’s $6,500 less than with a lease. (Note that the $2,500 California EV rebate is available under a lease or a purchase.)

Anyway, the takeaway of all this is that if you’re interested in leasing a Toyota RAV4 EV, then you should get to it soon, as the special incentives are set to expire on May 5th!

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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