The Toyota RAV4 Prime is a hybrid compact crossover SUV that stands out among its many competitors.

This vehicle can run on its electric battery and switch to gas as required. It offers an estimated 42 miles of electric range and another 38 combined mpg after that. So if you’ve been looking to get into a hybrid vehicle, this would be a great option.

You might be new to electric cars and have questions about charging.

If that’s the case, I’ll take you through all the basics of charging your RAV4 Prime so you can get the most out of your vehicle. I’ll also give you tips on charging your new RAV4 Prime at home or on the go and what to consider when choosing how to charge.

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The Basics of Charging a Toyota RAV4 Prime

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 RAV4 Prime.

Charging Port Location

So you’ve got your new Toyota RAV4 Prime, and now you are ready to charge it.

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, so push in to pop it open.

Image credit: cars.com

To charge, go to the right side, and to pump gas, go to the left.

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, every electric vehicle manufacturer uses the J1772 port type. This means you’ll be able to use almost any public charging station you can find.

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

Charging stations continue to pop up throughout North America, making plugging in more accessible.

Charging Cable Length

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

Twenty-five 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 Time

Now to the question most people have been asking. 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 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, 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 use a 240V outlet with a 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.

How to Charge a Toyota RAV4 Prime

Now that I’ve covered the basics of charging, I hope it’s all sounding less intimidating. Buying a new car is one of the most exciting purchases, and it shouldn’t feel overwhelming.

I also want to remind you that charging isn’t even necessary with the Toyota RAV4 Prime. The car will keep running if there’s gas in the tank.

Of course, it’s less expensive and more eco-friendly to keep it charged. But just to remind you, you can have peace of mind that you won’t lose power during a long road trip.

Let’s get into it.

Charging at Home

I want to cover everything you need to know about charging your RAV4 Prime at home.

You have two options for charging, and there’s a vast difference in the amount of time they take.

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 power outlet in your home.

standard electrical outlet

If you take short commutes every day, it’s effortless to plug your car into a standard 120V electrical outlet at home, and the battery will be back up to 100% by the next day. If the battery is empty, this could take about 12 hours.

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

It is possible to install a 240V outlet to allow more power for a Level 2 charger. A Level 2 charger is the type you would use at a public charging station. This type of charger only takes about 2.5 hours to fully charge the RAV4 Prime.

You can have an electrician come out to your house to install a 240V outlet for a Level 2 charger, but it’s a costly feature to have.

level 2 charging station

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

The cost is $700 to $2,000 to install a level 2 charger at home.

Using a Charging Station

If you do a lot of driving, you will want to know where you can find public charging stations.

I suggest using PlugShare. When you access the site, there’s a map showing every charging station in North America, and of course, you can narrow it down to your area.

There are stations everywhere: pharmacy parking lots, hotels, grocery stores, schools, car dealerships, hospitals, and more.

public 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. In a public station, the average cost is $0.30-0.60 kWh to charge your RAV4 Prime.

A charging cost calculator will be below to help you determine the 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.

Scheduling can reduce electricity costs by scheduling your 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:

Toyota RAV4 Prime Charging Cost Calculator

To help you understand the exact cost of charging your Toyota RAV4, I’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.

Electricty 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 battery size below.

Toyota RAV4 Prime 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 permanently.

Toyota RAV4 Prime Charging Cable

When it comes to charging cables for your RAV4 Prime, 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.

Let’s take a closer look at level 1 and 2 chargers below.

Level 1 Charger (120v)

A Level 1 charger should have been included with the car when you bought it.

You can plug this charger into a standard outlet in your home (120v). 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.

Level 2 Charger (240v)

You can only use Level 2 chargers in 240v outlets, so you’d have to have an electrician come to your house to install one. Some newer homes might’ve been built with 240v 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 is less than 3 hours.

I recommend the Morec NEMA 14-50 cable for level 2 charging.

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.

Conclusion

The Toyota RAV4 Prime is a great vehicle. I hope you have a greater understanding of how to use it now.

If you need more information or have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me!

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4 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. 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 ([email protected]) 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. 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.