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!
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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:
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.
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 youâ€™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.
Letâ€™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:
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”.
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.
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 itâ€™s a simple process, and once you have all the facts, you will feel confident driving and recharging your new EV.
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. Itâ€™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.
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 youâ€™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 youâ€™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:
Letâ€™s take a closer look at how level 1 and 2 chargers affect charging times.
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.
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. Itâ€™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 youâ€™d have to have an electrician come to your house to install one. Some newer homes mightâ€™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.
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 â€” 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.