Tom & Cathy's RAV4-EV Upgrades

Last Updated October 17, 2017

We've upgraded our factory-built RAV4-EV in several ways. Of course, many of these were inspired by the projects documented in Darell's list of RAV4-EV modifications. Thanks, Darell!

More details and photographs are on the way, so please check back for further updates!

Our current modifications:

  • Fabric on Doors (interior) [July 28, 2008] - The fabric on the interior of the doors needed to be re-glued.
  • Rattle [July 28, 2008] - We noticed a rattling sound coming from the cargo area, which turned out to be the plastic covers. A little foam glued to them solved the problem. It's amazing what you hear when there's no engine noise covering up other sounds!
  • Stereo Head-unit Upgrade [July 29, 2009] - We wanted to listen to our iPod!
  • Keyless Entry [August 2, 2008] - Why on earth didn't Toyota include this?! Anyway, it took some time upside down under the steering wheel, but wasn't very complicated to add an after-market keyless entry and alarm system.
  • Snow Mode Switch [August, 2008] - We even got to test it this winter! It increases the sensitivity of the accelerator, so motor speed control is more gradual. This certainly made starting out on slick surfaces easier.
  • Antenna Tie-down [August, 2008] - We park in a few garages downtown that have low clearance, so we copied Darell's idea of tying down the antenna to protect it from catching on a beam and getting bent when backing out of a parking spot.
  • Magnetic Louvered Vents [August 30, 2008] - It's fun to be able to pop the covers off to clean the vents or show folks the stuff underneath. Of course, that also means more to wash when getting ready for a show!
  • Window Stickers [January, 2009] - These are in the cargo-area side windows and have information about the RAV4-EV and electric vehicles in general.
  • OBD-II Data Monitor - This is in progress, so requires a little imagination! The goal is to have a small, permanently-mounted device displaying interesting data from the car's computers.
  • LED / Smart Interior Lights [July, 2009] - We've replaced the front interior light with microcontroller-controlled LEDs that will take less power and will automatically shut off if left on for too long. (We'll also replace the cargo-area light, but haven't gotten to that, yet.)
  • Charge Data [June, 2010] - Not really a modification, but a summary of data logged during discharging and a full recharge. This includes graphs of pack and module voltages, current, SOC and temperature.
  • TAL Charger Paddle Replacement [September, 2017] - We have done paddle swaps on TAL chargers a couple of times and documented our most recent experience as a companion to Darell's TAL Paddle Replacement page.


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