• California-only RAV4 EV now available for $299 per month
  • Lease deal is half of outgoing lease rate
  • RAV4 EV also available with 0 percent financing

The Toyota RAV4 EV is getting a lease deal. That's the latest from Toyota, which recently announced the all-electric RAV4 would be the latest in a series of EVs and plug-in hybrids to receive a cut-rate lease offer.

According to Toyota, the deal is substantial. It cuts the RAV4 EV's lease rate to $299 per month for 36 months, or half the electric SUV's lease rate of $599 per month when it debuted. Unfortunately, taking advantage of the low rate requires drivers to put down a whopping $3,999 at lease signing.

Still, the deal is a good one for shoppers who were already considering an all-electric RAV4, as it cuts payments by nearly $11,000 over the life of the lease.

But the deals aren't limited to lease shoppers. Toyota also has a special low-interest offer for qualified shoppers looking to finance the RAV4 EV: 0 percent financing. While that's common in the auto industry, the RAV4 EV is available with an unusually long 60-month term.

So why is Toyota offering so much money off the RAV4 EV? One reason is simple: because everyone else is doing it. Cut-rate lease and finance deals have appeared recently on several plug-in hybrid and electric models, such as the Ford Focus Electric and Nissan Leaf. By dropping lease and finance rates on the RAV4 EV, Toyota is bringing the SUV closer to its competition in price.

But another reason for the RAV4 EV incentives may be a lack of popularity. After a full year on the market, the RAV4 EV has sold just over 700 units -- a small number, even when you consider it's available only in California. By dropping prices, Toyota may hope to sway shoppers who were on the fence about choosing a RAV4 EV.

Co-developed with luxury EV automaker Tesla, the RAV4 EV offers an estimated range of 103 miles from the Environmental Protection Agency. That's one of the longest ranges in the business, bested only by the Tesla Model S. But the range doesn't come cheap: The RAV4 EV's starting price is around $50,000 with shipping.

What it means to you: The Toyota RAV4 EV is a good deal for a limited time -- provided that you live in California.

author photo

Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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