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Award winning RAV (2021)


Rav Rob
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RAV4 won Fleet News Awards (in 2021) for Best mid-size SUV ( beating BMW X1, Peugeot 3008, Range Rover Evoque, Volvo XC40)

Also wins Best plug-in hybrid car (beating other nominations of BMW 330e,  Škoda Octavia, Audi A3, Mercedes-Benz A-Class)

Also an interview with sales manager gives some insight, by the way I didn't realise the PHEV has 2 batteries, the EV one but also the standard hybrid one under the seat.  Apparently its what allows it to keep its efficient hybrid mojo going even when the EV Battery is gone.

Here is what was said:

The latest generation Toyota Rav4 has set a new standard in the mid-size SUV segment, since it launched in 2019. It offers an unrivalled balance of running costs, practicality and efficiency, enabling it to pick up two trophies at the 2021 Fleet News Awards.

Based on an all-new platform, the Rav4 features the latest hybrid powertrain technology from Toyota. It utilises a 2.5-litre petrol engine, which can be paired with a hybrid or plug-in hybrid system. Both deliver strong performance along with CO2 emissions from just 22g/km.

Fleet News: How does the Rav4 fit in with Toyota’s powertrain strategy?

Stuart Ferma, general manager, fleet, Toyota & Lexus GB: The plug-in element has always been a key part of our strategy. Prius Plug-in Hybrid launched in 2012, so we’ve had these vehicles way before anyone else. There’s always been a focus on how we take the self-charging element to the next point and, at the moment, we are in a really good position, because what we’ve got is self-charging hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure EV, with the new BZ4X, specifically within the D-SUV sector. We’ve got the full complement of vehicles within our powertrain strategy, which is absolutely brilliant for us. So, it fits with that strategy of having the right vehicle at the right time for us.

FN: Has the Rav4 met your fleet sales expectations?

SF: Sales of Rav4 Hybrid are almost 50:50 split between fleet and retail, at 46% fleet. It’s probably fair to say we got off to a quicker start with retail sales with Rav4 Plug-in Hybrid, but it’s growing month-on-month in terms of our mix of sales. So, it’s slightly different at the moment where we’ve got higher percentages of self-charging as a fleet mix, which doesn’t make sense really because of the BIK (benefit-in-kind tax) but that’s the strength of the product we’ve got a moment. Because of its 46-mile EV range, clearly a lot of our dealers are selling it to retail customers on the strength of that reduction in fuel costs.

FN: What feedback have you had from fleet customers about the new Rav4 Plug-in Hybrid?

SF: It’s really been positive and we did some changes to the pricing as well, reducing it by £4,450. So that’s enabled it, where people were looking at the on-the-road pricing, to get into certain bandings. What we are doing is selling in terms of the total cost of ownership (TCO) and without that element of range anxiety, of course, it’s really hits the mark. It puts us in a good position with those user-chooser fleets. We’ve seen a really big opportunity for this product towards the back end of this year and going into next year, as well, in terms of accelerating the SUV segment.

FN: What makes the Rav4 Plug-in Hybrid stand out among its rivals?

SF: The overall CO2 figure for the Rav4 Plug-in Hybrid is achieved, in part, because of the nature of our powertrain. So, when that 46-mile EV range is depleted, the system reverts to our tried and trusted, full hybrid system. It means the vehicle doesn’t become, essentially, a carrier of a redundant, empty, big heavy Battery. There are two batteries on the car. There’s what we would call the EV Battery, which is under the floor, then, as is always the case with Lexus and Toyota SUVs, a self-charging hybrid battery that sits just beneath the rear passenger seats. That’s a big differentiator. We are unique in being able to say that the powertrain reverts to a full hybrid system once the battery electric range is depleted.

Compared with its predecessor, the new Rav4 has greater driver appeal thanks to improved comfort and refinement levels, plus the new powertrains are more responsive, making the car better to drive. A high level of build-quality puts the car on the coattails of the premium SUV segment.


Sponsors’ comments

FMG is proud to sponsor the Alternate Fuel categories at the Fleet News Awards 2021. Our customers and our people want to do their bit for the planet, and we’re no different, so seeing the addition of ‘best plug-in hybrid car’ to the annual awards scheme is pleasing, and a clear demonstration of the direction in which fleet operations are heading.

We are thrilled for the Toyota Rav4 to have won this category, with comments such as ‘highly efficient, with excellent EV-only range, delivering outstanding economy in petrol mode thanks to its hybrid technology.’

The additional commentary around the Rav4 being packed with safety technology and extremely reliable were significant as both safety and reliability are critical in the effectiveness and efficiency of fleet operations.

Edited by Rav Rob
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  • Rav Rob changed the title to Award winning RAV (2021)

Thanks.
Learnt something new. Was not aware that the PHEV had 2 batteries ( 3 if you count the 12v boot battery). Traction Battery under the floor and the self charging one under the seat like the HEV. 

 

 

 

Edited by robo1
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17 minutes ago, robo1 said:

Thanks.
Learnt something new. Was not aware that the PHEV had 2 batteries ( 3 if you count the 12v boot battery). Traction battery under the floor and the self charging one under the seat like the HEV. 

... except for the fact that we are pretty sure that isn't true! 😉

The HEV has a 1.6kWh NiMH Battery under the rear seat.

The PHEV has an 18.1kWh Li-Ion Battery under the floor that is logically partitioned to support both the BEV and self-charging capabilities.

... as detailed in the technical specifications of each ...

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I read another new article (Autotrader) this week that mentioned the 2 separate batteries which took me by surprise. Looking at the tech strip down documents and from personal experience of how it behaves, I'm still convinced it is only one Battery that is partitioned.

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You would have thought the Toyota fleet manager would know what he was talking about but clearly not. Doesn’t look likes there’s the under seat Battery as Phillip and Nigel have just posted.

6EF1ED63-BF38-4208-B1D6-7FE86B7D2745.png

122E1C74-BBA2-49A5-A0EE-C1AB829AE4DD.png

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Might be a bit embarrassing for the Toyota UK Fleet sales manager to not be properly technically briefed but stranger things happen!!! ..so maybe.

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2 minutes ago, robo1 said:

 

You would have thought the Toyota fleet manager would know what he was talking about but clearly not. Doesn’t look likes there’s the under seat battery as Phillip and Nigel have just posted.

6EF1ED63-BF38-4208-B1D6-7FE86B7D2745.png

122E1C74-BBA2-49A5-A0EE-C1AB829AE4DD.png

Haha, I have an account on Fleet News, I might go have some fun with some postings!! Awwwwkwarddddddd  Toyota!!!

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The car spec has always been one Battery with the reserve being at 30% capacity for the HEV mode but to give the full PHEV performance spec. But as has been reported it's possible to reduce this 30% towards the zero state of charge but it seems never to be able to fully deplete it. My guess is that there is an absolute level, maybe at the same capacity as the HEV (1.6kW), that it will not go much below.  Whatever is ultimately going on it's a clever system that seems to work very effectively.

 

Screenshot 2022-01-07 at 06.32.27.png

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It’s as bad as the ridiculous quote about the towing nose weight limit being set to stop the front wheels lifting off the ground. Someone needs to get a grip at Toyota UK with product knowledge and technical training.  

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12 hours ago, Flatcoat said:

It’s as bad as the ridiculous quote about the towing nose weight limit being set to stop the front wheels lifting off the ground. Someone needs to get a grip at Toyota UK with product knowledge and technical training.  

I'm sure they are not alone in this - across the industry it is difficult to speak with anyone remotely technical. I think they are regarded as 'geeks' and not to be trusted to stay 'on message' when confronted by a customer.

Where do you think all these people studying 'media' end up 🤪.

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