Toyota Sending a Paltry 5,000 RAV4 Prime Plug-Ins to the US

by Denis Gurskiy

If you follow the efforts of legacy automakers in regards to electrification, you would know that Toyota’s efforts…aren’t scoring high marks. One of the largest automakers in the world and forerunner when it came to hybrid technology has sadly been dragging its feet when it comes to anything beyond mild-hybrids and maybe some hydrogen fuel cell technology. And it looks like those efforts aren’t improving too much with the planned amount of the Japanese company’s newest plug-in hybrid, the RAV4 Price.

The Toyota RAV4 Prime received a warm response when it was unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show. After all, the RAV4 has been a highly popular vehicle in the ever-popular small SUV segment, so getting a plug-in hybrid variant with an all-electric range of around 40 miles just sweetened the deal for anyone wanting to cut down on fuel costs, but didn’t want to commit to full electric.

Unfortunately, reports came out stating that Toyota was only planning a target of about 300 sales a month in Japan and will only be sending 5,000 to the US for 2020.

Electrek received the following correspondence from a Toyota Spokesperson:

Japan suspended orders on Monday, June 29. They received favorable reviews from many customers and received orders which largely surpassed the production capability of a newly developed lithium-ion battery.


For the US, since its debut last year, the 2021 RAV4 Prime has generated an exciting level of consumer engagement and interest as the most powerful, fuel-efficient RAV4 ever.


Due to unforeseen supply chain constraints, we have revised our production plan downward for calendar year 2020. We expect to reach previously planned production levels by early 2021.


We anticipate the first model-year would be about 5,000 – and year 2 forward would be about 20,000.

For those curious, Toyota sold a little over 448,000 RAV4s in the United States last year. Making the Prime about 1% of the total last year sales at worst, and a bit over 4% of the model makeup at best when they (hopefully) make it to 20,000 units a year.

To really put into perspective how little cars that is, Bently sold slightly over 2,900 cars in the US last year. Think of how few times you have seen a Bently, you are less than twice more likely to see a RAV4 Prime. Actually, your chances of seeing on are close to 0% if you live outside the ZEV states of: California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

According to TorqueNews those will be the only states that will receive their share of the 5,000 RAV4 Primes, which makes sense given the low number. 

Given Toyota’s rather outspoken nature against electric cars, it, unfortunately, isn’t too surprising that the RAV4 Prime would be made in highly limited quantities. They have been warming up to the idea of speeding up their initially planned electrification plans, at least they say they are, but it doesn’t seem like that enthusiasm has been put into action yet.

It’s one thing to see some growing pains if this was a fully electric car, but this is a plug-in which is supposed to use a significantly smaller battery than a fully electric car, so battery constraints shouldn’t hit it that hard. But once again, I’m not a Toyota board member, so I don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes. I do know however that compliance cars have not been eliminated yet.

What do you guys think? Let us know down in the comments below.

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