Anyone who's California Dreamin' about test-driving the battery-electric version of the Toyota RAV4 can now get their chance.

The Japanese automaker is taking the EV on a tour of the Golden State with its Charge-to-Charge Tour, complete with a web series hosted by Treehugger founder Graham Hill.

The tour started this past weekend in Richmond, just across the bay from San Francisco, and will work its way south through the end of the month. The RAV4 will be exhibited at events such as 40th Annual EAA Electric Vehicle Rally and Show in Cupertino before finishing up at the AltCar Expo in Santa Monica, which takes place at the end of next week, September 28-29.

Last week, Toyota outlined its loan and lease options while disclosing that the EPA put a single-charge range rating of 103 miles on the Vehicle. The Japanese automaker, which will start sales of the model at some California dealers starting next week, will offer a 36-month lease option for $599 a month with a $3,499 downpayment. For buyers, Toyota will offer an APR loan at 1.9 percent.

In May, Toyota said it would price the EV at $49,800 and would make about 2,600 of them through 2014. And late last month, Toyota released a couple videos elaborating on Toyota's work with Tesla Motors on the vehicle and on efforts to cut the RAV4 EV's wind drag as a way to help boost range. Find more Charge-to-Charge Tour details in the press release below.
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Toyota's New All-Electric RAV4 EV Explores California One Charge at a Time with the Charge-to-Charge Tour

Treehugger.com founder, innovator and polymath Graham Hill will lead the two week tour visiting green drive events, offering test drives, and exploring California's tech and green innovations for a Web video series

SAN FRANCISCO – September 17, 2012 – Toyota is sending its RAV4 EV out on the Charge-to-Charge Tour, a two-week tour to offer Californians their first opportunity to learn about and drive the new all-electric SUV. In addition to a number of public events, Graham Hill, a polymath, an innovator and founder of Treehugger.com, will host a real-time web series that uncovers and reports on some of California's most intriguing visionaries and innovations. Innovation spurred the development of the RAV4 EV, and the tour is setting out to shine a light on other innovations and innovators that are working to change the world.

The RAV4 EV Charge-to-Charge Tour kicked-off at the Green Drive Expo in Richmond, CA on Saturday and will continue through September 30 with stops at electric and alternative fuel car shows and events including EV Week today and tomorrow in San Francisco, the 40th Annual EAA Electric Vehicle Rally and Show in Cupertino, the EAA/PIA Meet-up at an Angels Game (Sept. 25), and the AltCar Expo in Santa Monica.

At each event attendees will have the first opportunity to drive the new all-electric SUV, a firsthand chance to learn about the technology through an interactive touch-screen display that illustrates how the RAV4 EV works, and can challenge friends to a race on a custom built bicycle-powered electric slot car track. As one person controls the slot car, another generates energy by cycling as fast as they can.

In addition to the public-facing events, the RAV4 EV Charge-to-Charge Tour will make stops throughout California to explore some of the state's many advanced technology innovators.

"Between the obvious innovation coming out of Silicon Valley and the amazing subtle leaps being made by inventors across the state, California has emerged as one of the most exciting places in the world for those interested in innovation," said tour host Graham Hill. "This tour offers an incredible chance to talk to some of the people doing amazing work. I can't wait to see what we learn."

Each day a video documenting the Tour's travels and featuring exclusive interviews and behind the scenes insights will be published online at www.toyota.com/RAV4EV/Tour.

In addition to the public events and web series, the Charge-to-Charge Tour will also make stops at the green carpet at the EMA Awards and at the LA Triathlon where it will serve as the official event pace car.

Introduced earlier this year and available for sale at select dealers in California the week of September 24, the RAV4 EV combines a Tesla-designed and -produced battery and electric powertrain with Toyota's most popular SUV model. The only all-electric SUV on the market, the RAV4 EV features the same amount of cargo room as its gas-powered sibling, an EPA-rated driving range of approximately 100 miles, and a charging time of approximately six hours. Priced at $49,800, Toyota will produce 2,600 RAV4 EVs through 2014.

"The RAV4 EV Charge-to-Charge Tour is a great way for the public to see, touch and drive the first all-electric SUV on the market," said Jack Hollis, vice president of marketing for Toyota Motor Sales. "The RAV4 EV offers an exceptionally smooth, quiet ride and comes packed with high-tech, high-touch features. Our engineers developed an advanced, upscale product that delivers on customer needs and wants. And we fully expect that everyone who gets behind the wheel will agree."

RAV4 EV Charge-to-Charge Tour public events include:
  • September 15: Green Drive Expo, Craneway Pavilion, Richmond, CA
  • September 17-18: EV Week, Charge Across Town, Justin Herman Plaza, San Francisco, CA
  • September 20: Crocker Park Ride and Drive, Sacramento, CA
  • September 23: 40th Annual EAA EV Rally & Show, DeAnza College Lot A, Cupertino, CA
  • September 25: EAA/PIA Meet-up at Angels Game, Angel Stadium, Anaheim, CA
  • September 28-29: AltCar Show, Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, Santa Monica, CA
For more information on the tour and specific events, please visit: www.toyota.com/RAV4EV/Tour.

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About Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., INC.

Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc. is the marketing, sales, distribution and customer service arm of Toyota, Lexus and Scion. Established in 1957, TMS markets products and services through a network of nearly 1,500 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealers which sold more than 1.76 million vehicles in 2010. Toyota directly employs nearly 30,000 people in the U.S. and its investment here is currently valued at more than $18 billion.

For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyota.com, www.lexus.com, www.scion.com or www.toyotanewsroom.com.