The RAV4 EV's price tag also could hurt sales. It costs $14,600 more than the Leaf and $10,000 more than the Chevrolet Volt or the electric Ford Focus. The electric Focus also costs more than double the gas version. Focus EV sales have been modest since the car went on sale late last year.
Electric vehicles also have been slow to catch on in the U.S. because of the limited charging infrastructure. General Motors Co. and Nissan Motor Co. both fell short of their electric vehicle sales goals in 2011.