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There’s an Uber-Rare 2002 Toyota RAV4 EV for Sale on Craigslist

Is this one-of-328 RAV4 EV a future classic, or just an old electric car?
Rav4 EV For Sale
via Calvin Clinton

If you’re looking for a classic electric vehicle, there’s no better option than General Motors’ ever-so-elusive EV1. Unfortunately, finding one of those in the wild isn’t exactly likely, so maybe take a look at one of its era-correct competitors: the 2002 Toyota RAV4 EV.

A prime—and super rare—example of Toyota’s first take on a modern electric vehicle has recently popped up for sale on Craigslist, offering classic electric car aficionados the chance to pick up one of the grandaddies that made the modern EV more than just a glint in an automotive executive’s eye.

This particular one is up for sale in North Carolina. Similar to the GM EV1, the first-generation RAV4 EV was offered as part of a lease-only program at Toyota when it went on sale in 1997, though it was offered only to fleet customers until the turn of the millennium. By 2002, Toyota began offering them to the public for outright purchase at $42,000 (that’s around $67,500 in 2022 dollars), though the sale of these battery-powered crossovers was short-lived. When battery supply dried up, Toyota ended production in November 2002, selling just 328 units.

Powered by a 27-kilowatt-hour battery, the RAV4 EV isn’t exactly a range king. In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rated the crossover at just 94 miles of range, which isn’t impressive by today’s standards but stacks up with the GM EV1 (up to 105 miles according to the EPA), and bested both the Chevrolet S-10 EV (72 miles) and Ford Ranger EV (50 miles). Its acceleration wasn’t as zippy as today’s electric cars, either—the RAV4 EV sported a zero-to-60 time of about 18 seconds.

But, hey, at least Toyota added that rather, uh, stylish EV livery to it. After all, how else would people know that it’s electric?

If this car looks familiar, it should! The RAV4 popped up for sale last year on Cars and Bids where it sold for $8,750, and the car’s current owner, Calvin Clinton, is already looking to rehome it. Clinton tells me that he’s selling the vehicle along with the rest of his stable because he’s relocating and has to choose just one vehicle to bring with him. That has forced him to choose between his RAV4 EV, Mercedes Benz E350 BlueTec, Ford Mustang, and 1955 Adler MB 250.

“I’ve personally put less than 100 miles on it since I purchased it,” said Clinton. “My intent was to use this as a third car and shipped it to my home in Charlotte to use around town as we have free EV charging at the nearby college. The car is available for sale as I am relocating in July due to family obligations and can only bring my Mustang.”

Clinton says that the car has some stone chips and scratches, plus some obvious wear that a 20-year-old car is bound to have. A few extras are also included along with the vehicle: two heated windshields, an extra set of brakes and rotors, plus three chargers (two of which are operational).

If you’re interested in picking up this potentially future-classic EV, head on over to is Craigslist where it’s listed for $11,995.

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