Our world faces many challenges, from climate change and air quality to energy efficiency and security. We pioneered SUV electrification with the RAV4 Hybrid and have now taken performance and environmental quality to an even higher level with the new RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid.
The years a vehicle spends on the road are the longest and most critical stage in its life cycle in terms of impact on the environment. We are constantly seeking new and better ways of minimising that impact, supporting our New Vehicle Zero CO2 challenge.
The RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid benefits from advanced, environmentally focused features, including its latest generation Toyota Hybrid System and lithium-ion battery.
It’s also the first Toyota to use a unique new heat pump system that can supply the car’s air conditioning system without drawing energy from the battery.
When it comes to finding ways of reducing CO2 emissions, we look at a vehicle’s entire life cycle, from design and production, through customer ownership and driving to ultimate disposal and recycling. This scrutiny is helping us meet our Life Cycle Zero CO2 challenge.
We try to develop each new model in a way that will deliver better environmental performance than its predecessor. We assess each car’s overall environmental impact in accordance with the international standard IS0 14040/44.
You can see the results for the RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid in the graph below.
We are committed to making our manufacturing more environmentally efficient as well, reducing CO2 emissions, minimising waste, conserving natural resources and recycling and reusing wherever we can. To contribute to our commitment, we are continuously streamlining and simplifying our manufacturing processes, moving us towards our Plant Zero CO2 goal.
For example, the plant where we produce the RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid uses a completely new, energy-saving painting process. Its achievement has been recognised with Japan’s 2019 Energy Conservation Grand Prize.
There are many other carbon-reducing measures on-site, including solar panels to generate renewable energy.
The Toyota Water Usage Optimising policy is our commitment to finding ways of consuming as little water as possible in manufacturing (water quantity). It also ensures that any wastewater we produce is safely purified before it’s returned to the local environment (water quality).
Two activities supporting this commitment at the RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid manufacturing centre are the recycling and reuse of water from the paint process and the use of bubble washing in place of chemical washing for vehicle body cleaning.
Through our Resource Recycling Challenge, we focus on the efficient use of resources in all areas of our business, in particular the parts and materials used to make our vehicles.
The RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid uses the latest version of our lithium-ion battery. It’s important that, when the vehicle reaches the end of its life, the battery is responsibly recovered and recycled. In Europe our target is to achieve a 100% battery collection rate from our retailers.
Raw materials are a finite resource, so Toyota is constantly researching ways to help build a more resource-efficient economy.
Our challenge to achieve Harmony with Nature is not just about protecting the world around us. It is about improving the environment, creating new habitats for plants and wildlife, fostering biodiversity and creating a sustainable society.
The RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid production centre is actively involved in protecting the local wildlife, from cats to fireflies, and conserving the local wildlife and vegetation in collaboration with Obu City. Even the plant buildings play a part with a section of the façade covered in green “living” walls.
In addition, a water habitat has been created to nurture indigenous fish species. This project helps us build interaction and environmental awareness with the local community.