Toyota RAV4 Prime Charging Guide

The Toyota RAV4 Prime is an impressive plug-in hybrid SUV that stands out among its many competitors.

In this charging guide, we’ll dive deep into all things related to charging your RAV4 Prime, ensuring you have a clear understanding of the process.

From home charging solutions to on-the-go convenience and the factors to consider when charging, this guide will empower you to make the most of your RAV4 Prime’s charging capabilities.

Let’s get started!

toyota rav4 prime

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How to Charge

First, I’m going to talk about the basics of charging.

I know it may seem intimidating and confusing at first, but it will all be clear by the end of this article.

I’m going to break this down into two sections: charging at home and on the go. The experiences are quite different.

Charging at Home

If you’re like most people, you’ll do most of your charging at home.

There are two options for home charging for you to consider, each with significant differences in charging speed.

The simplest option is to use the charging cable that came with your car at the time of purchase. The Level 1 charger fits into a standard 120V power outlet in your home, which looks like this:

standard electrical outlet

If you take short commutes every day, this option should be sufficient. You won’t have any trouble getting the battery back up to 100% by the next day.

When using a Level 1 charger on a 120V outlet, it will take roughly 12 hours to charge the battery from empty.

If you drive more frequently, you may need quicker charging times.

Since the RAV4 Prime has a maximum charging speed of 6.6 kilowatts per hour, you can speed up your charging by installing a 240V outlet, is compatible with a Level 2 charging cable.

When using a Level 2 charger in a 240V outlet, it takes about 2.5 hours to fully charge your RAV4 Prime.

A Level 2 charger is what you’d find at a public charging station. However, you can have a qualified electrician come out to your house to install a 240V outlet for a Level 2 charger, which typically costs $700 to $2,000 (wattlogic.com).

Here’s a video on how 240V outlet installation works.

It might not be worth it to some people, but if you are driving your car frequently, it would be convenient to have fast charging at home.

I’ll talk more about level 1 and 2 charging later in this article.

Using a Charging Station

When you’re on the go, public charging stations are a great option for you to boost your charge.

These stations are becoming increasingly common. You can find these at pharmacy parking lots, hotels, grocery stores, schools, car dealerships, hospitals, and more.

I suggest using PlugShare to find local public charging stations. When you access the site, there’s a map showing charging stations across the world. Of course, you can narrow it down to your local area.

ev charging station

When you arrive at a charging station, remember that when you lock the car, the charger locks into place. Simply unlock the vehicle to remove the plug, close the cap, and you’re ready to keep driving.

PlugShare is awesome because it shows pictures of the chargers from other users and has details about what’s around and whether or not parking is free.

There is a cost when charging your vehicle, but it is not as much as gasoline. At a public station, the average cost is $0.30-0.60 kWh to charge your RAV4 Prime.

A charging cost calculator will be provided in the later sections of this article to help you estimate your costs.

Charging Settings and Scheduling

Inside your RAV4 Prime, you have the option to schedule when you want to charge.

Let’s say you know that your electricity is cheaper at 2AM. You can plug in your car before bed but not have it start charging until 2AM. In this case, you are taking advantage of “time-of-use” (TOU) rates.

Here’s a quick video explaining how TOU rates work.

Scheduling can reduce electricity costs by charging during off-peak hours. You can also schedule it to finish charging by a specified departure time.

Use the multi-information display (MID) or multimedia system screen (if equipped) to access these settings.

Here’s a useful video explaining how it works:

Cost Calculator

To help you understand the exact cost of charging your Toyota RAV4 Prime, we’ve created a cost calculator!

Simply enter your cents per kWh below and click “Calculate”.

Click here to find your state’s average cents per kWh.

Electricity cost per kWh, in cents:

It will cost $0.00 to fully charge your Toyota RAV4 Prime.

Note: I strongly encourage you to enter your own electricity rates for the best accuracy. Rates vary widely, depending on many factors.

This calculator works by multiplying your expected electricity costs by the total usable capacity of the Prime’s battery. Read more about the usable battery size in the next section.

Important Specs

I know that charging your car might sound like a new and daunting concept to some. But once you do it once or twice, you should feel quite confident.

I promise it’s a simple process, and once you have all the facts, you will feel confident driving and recharging your new EV.

Battery Size

The Toyota RAV4 Prime has a battery size of 18.1 kWh. However, it is estimated that only 14.5 kWh of the battery is usable.

Limiting the usable capacity of the battery prevents over-draining of the battery, which can damage it, requiring you to replace your RAV4 Prime’s battery.

Charging Port Location

You can find the charging port on the right side of the rear quarter panel. It’s directly above the tire.

The port will be underneath a cover, just like your gas cap. To open it, push inward on the cover.

Image credit: cars.com

Charging Plug/Port Type

Your RAV4 Prime comes with a charger for the convenience of charging at home, but what charging stations will be compatible if you’re on the go?

The Toyota RAV4 Prime’s charging port type is J1772. Other than Tesla, most electric vehicle manufacturers use the J1772 port type. This means you’ll be able to use almost any public charging station you can find (U.S. Department of Energy).

J1772 charging stations are everywhere, giving you peace of mind knowing that you’ll be able to get a quick charge while at the mall or grocery store.

Charging stations continue to pop up throughout the world, making plugging in more accessible.

Level 1 vs. Level 2 Charging

When it comes to charging cables for your RAV4, you have two options.

A Level 1 charger is suitable for those who may not do a lot of driving and have time to charge at home overnight. The average time for a full charge is 12 hours using the Level 1 charger.

A Level 2 charger would be better for those of you who have a much longer commute and need a quicker charge. You can achieve a full charge in under three hours with the Level 2 charger, which is a massive difference from the Level 1 cable. You must have a 240V electrical outlet installed in your home to use a level 2 charger.

Level 1 and 2 chargers require different electrical outlets. Level 1 chargers work fine on standard 120V outlets, while level 2 chargers require a 240V outlet.

Here’s what 120V and 240V outlets look like:

120V vs 240v Outlet

Let’s take a closer look at how level 1 and 2 chargers affect charging times.

Charging Time

Now to the question most people have been wondering: How long does it take to charge a RAV4 Prime? The answer varies, so let’s dive in.

The Toyota RAV4 Prime comes with a 120V level 1 charger that can plug into a standard 120V 12A outlet in your home. Charging at home will take about 12 hours for a full 0-100% charge.

Now, if you are charging the battery at a public station or with a level 2 charger, you will only have to wait around 2 hours and 30 minutes for a full charge.

Source: toyota.com

So, why is it so much faster at a public station?

Charging stations typically use a 240V outlet with a level 2, 6.6 kW charger (32A). If you crave the same fast-charging power at home, it is possible. You can have a licensed electrician come to your home and install a 240V outlet for a higher-powered charger, like we discussed before.

Charging Cable Length

The Toyota RAV4 Prime comes with a Level 1 120-volt charger that is approximately 24 feet in length.

25 feet is the maximum charging cable length allowed for electric vehicles, and you should not use an extension cord as it may overheat. It’s also wise to avoid using multi-outlet power strips, surge protectors, and similar devices.

Charging Cable Options

As mentioned before, there are two types of chargers available, depending on whether you have a 120V or 240V outlet installed in your home.

Here are some great cables to consider:

Level 1 Charger (120v)

A Level 1 charger is included with your RAV4 Prime.

You can plug this charger into a standard outlet in your home (120 volts). It takes about 12 hours to charge fully, and you can expect to get roughly 4 miles of driving range for each hour.

I recommend the Lectron NEMA 5-15 cable for level 1 charging. This is a reasonably priced yet high-quality option that uses the J1772 charging protocol required by the RAV4 Prime. It has a cable length of 21 feet, which should provide ample length for you to reach an electrical outlet. It also includes indicator lights to show charging progress and warn you of faults in the cable.

Level 2 Charger (240v)

You can only use Level 2 chargers in 240-volt outlets, so you’d have to have an electrician come to your house to install one. Some newer homes might’ve been built with 240-volt outlets, so you might already be equipped with a Level 2 charging cable if you’re lucky.

If you have a level 2 charger, you could cut your charging times dramatically. The Level 2 charger will fully charge your RAV4 Prime in less than 3 hours.

I recommend the Morec NEMA 14-50 cable for level 2 charging. This is a 40-amp, 220-240 volt charger that meets SAE J1772 compatibility standards for the Prime. It’s made of high-quality, durable material.

Charging Etiquette

When it comes to electric vehicle charging, there are some additional considerations that make the experience different from filling up at the pump.

This is especially true since charging takes significantly longer than fueling with gasoline. Limited charging station availability only makes this process more challenging for drivers.

Because of these limitations, there is some etiquette that you should be aware of as a new EV owner.

  • Don’t skip the line — sometimes there will be a line of EV owners waiting to charge.
  • Abide by any EV charging time limits.
  • Don’t unplug someone else’s car.
  • Only charge what you need if there are people waiting.
  • Only park in EV spots when you need to charge.

(KBB)

Frequently Asked Questions

It takes anywhere from 2.5 to 12 hours to fully charge a Toyota RAV4 Prime, depending on the type of charging outlet you use.

Charging from 0% to 100% with the included charging cable in a standard household outlet (120V 21A) will take 12 hours.

A full charge using a public charging station (240V) with the 6.6 kW onboard charger (32A) takes only 2.5 hours.

Yes, you can charge your Toyota RAV4 Prime at any standard charging station. Charging stations can be found at grocery stores, parking garages, and other locations.

Yes, you can charge your Toyota RAV4 Prime at a Tesla charging station using a Tesla-to-J1772 adapter. However, you cannot use a Tesla Supercharger.

The Toyota RAV4 Prime uses a J1772 charging port, also known as a “j-plug”. This type of charger is very common and compatible will all standard charging stations.

Yes, the Toyota RAV4 Prime can partially charge itself when the engine is running and by using regenerative braking. This helps extend your range, but you’ll need to plug the vehicle in to fully charge the battery.

Yes, you can safely leave your Toyota RAV4 Prime plugged in all the time. It is equipped with the appropriate safety technology to prevent overcharging.

Summary

I hope this comprehensive article helped you understand how to charge your RAV4 Prime!

We discussed both in-home and public charging station options, including the difference between 120V (Level 1) and 240V (Level 2) charging, which offer significantly different charging times.

The cost calculator we included should help you get a better idea of the costs of charging your RAV4 Prime, which can be used to figure out how much cheaper it is than using gasoline only.

We also covered the RAV4 battery size, charging port location, port type, and other useful specs that are important to understand.

Finally, we led you through some great options for Level 1 and 2 charging, as well as useful public charging etiquette that you’ll want to know as a new EV owner.

If this charging guide was useful to you, please let us know in the comments below! If there was anything you felt we missed, mention that in your comment so we can add it to the article.

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10 Comments

  1. Chris Starace says:

    Hi Jonathan,
    Thanks for your informative website! I need help understanding how paying $10,000 more for the Rav4 Prime 2023 over the Rav4 Hybrid 2023 makes sense. I want to know if I’ll break even and when. It doesn’t seem clear that I will break even.

    At 40 miles per charge using 14.5 kwh as you suggest and I live in New York state where we pay 38cents per kwh with delivery fees, your caluclator gave me $5.51 per charge or 13.8 cents a mile. The hybrid gets 36 mpg and at 3.50 per gallon, that’s 10 cents a mile so it looks like it’s cheaper to drive the hybrid!

    If it helps my wife drives 50 miles to work 182 days a year. We’d take two car trips to Maine in the summer and we normally drive about 13,000 miles. Do you know of a calculator to figure it out? It seems to me that we’d never break even at such a large price difference.

    Thanks,

    Chris

    1. Jonathan Buckley says:

      Hi Chris,

      Yes, your suspicions are correct! I would not recommend purchasing a RAV4 Prime in order to save costs, especially because it no longer qualifies for a tax credit. Especially at your electricity rate, it would be highly unlikely that you’d save money by buying a Prime.

      I actually wrote an article about whether or not the RAV4 Prime is worth it. Here’s the link: https://rav4resource.com/toyota-rav4-prime-worth-it/

      Feel free to reply to my comment or send me an email (rav4resource@gmail.com) if you have more questions!

  2. Chris Starace says:

    Thanks for confirming my suspicions Jonathan!

    It makes we wonder what would attract people to buy the Prime if they can essentially have the same car and can still help the environment by buying the hybrid. Do you know if it’s selling well? If people vote with their dollars, it will force companies to make economically sensible products that are also good for the environment. That is what will save the planet.

    On another note, I saw your electricity rate per state chart. I’ve also seen those stickers on appliances that tell you on average what you’ll pay in electricity to run them per year. That information seems misleading because it appears they are only stating the cost of the electricity and does not include the delivery fees. Here in Westchester County, NY, the delivery fees are as much or more than the electricty itself so the published numbers are about half of the actual cost.

    1. Jonathan Buckley says:

      I just think people think the more “electrified” the vehicle is, the more money they will be saving. They don’t actually sit down to do the math.

      Yes! It’s selling very well. I recently called dealerships across the USA to answer this question. Waiting lists range from 5 to 24 months! Check out the article here: https://rav4resource.com/rav4-prime-availability/

      Thank you for your insights on the delivery fees. I think trying to add those fees to my calculator would make it a bit too complex. However, I will add some wording to strongly encourage readers to enter their own electricity rates for the best accuracy. It is definitely an important aspect for the reader to consider.

  3. Thank you for this great and accessible article. I have a question: we have a Level 2 Tesla Wall Connector at home. How can I charge my Rav4 Prime on this wall connector? Do you have suggested/recommended adapters? Thank you!

  4. Kit Fazzini says:

    Great information! Love my 2021 Rav4 Prime. Just crossed the 40,000 mile mark in 2.5 years and I couldn’t be happier with my purchase. I don’t think you can go wrong with this vehicle.

  5. Harold Simon says:

    “every electric vehicle manufacturer uses the J1772 port type.” Who are you quoting here? I want names and numbers and will kick ass. There are no less than FOUR plug types including Tesla. I took a trip from NYC to Richmond VA. My experience is the J1772 is the least common. Lol at the CCS plug, it is a super 1772. But they are NOT compatible. Then there is the CHAdeMO also not compatible. I found TWO J1772 chargers on my trip. One was not marked in the parking lot, so I found it on the way out of the restaurant, and looked so old I might not have trusted them. The second was at a hotel 8 plugs – 6 Tesla and 2 broken J1772 (one failed 2 sided unit). Toyota did NO ONE any favors using the J1772. For you to recklessly quote someone saying “every electric vehicle manufacturer uses the J1772 port type” Does no one any good. AND makes me question everything else you say.

    1. RAV4 Resource says:

      Hi Harold,

      The U.S. Department of Energy states that most, if not all, electric vehicles can use the J1772 port. Even Tesla’s can use them with an adapter. They are the most common in North America and the only one that the Prime is compatible with.

      And according to statistics the most found public charging port is the J1772, followed by Tesla, then CHAdeMO/CSS. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1305907/us-most-popular-ev-charger-connector-station-type/

      I will change the language of the article to say “most” instead of “every” for more clarification.

  6. John Cannon says:

    A timely article. My wife and I have been considering a RAV4 Prime, but looking at my most recent bill, once I factor in all the additional fees that are charged on a per-kWh basis in addition to the electricity itself, I am paying about $0.28/kWh in Massachusetts. By my calculations, it doesn’t make sense until such time as we install solar on the house and generate our own power (still probably 2 years away).
    That said, to me the biggest appeal of the Prime is better power (let’s face it, most hybrids have anemic acceleration) and a better AWD system that the regular Rav4, which is only a mediocre AWD system by comparison (and us coming from a Subaru, which makes pretty much the best AWD system on the market – and no, not all AWD systems are created equal – far from it).
    Disappointing, but maybe it will make more sense when I am generating my own electricity.