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CARB’s Special Toyota RAV4 EV Collects Air Pollution Data

With so many automakers delivering their first batch of green cars to California, you can easily say the state is like a Mecca of clean driving, if you neglect some areas in Japan, like Toyota City for example.
CARB Toyot RAV4 EV unit 1 photo
Thing is, California is the place of choice for automakers to test out their newest technology in green matter and two of the greatest eco vehicles were born/made popular in the area - the Toyota Prius and Tesla Model S.

With all sort of vehicles that have declared war to fossilized dinosaur juice, it’s normal that someone would want to see their impact upon the environment, and in this case we’re talking about CARB - California Air Resources Board.

Among their stationary testing equipment, CARB also uses a mobile unit, to record air samples on the go, straight from the middle of the action. But for that they can’t just use a normal gasoline-powered vehicle, because it’s tailpipe emissions will pretty much screw up the logged data.

So, to keep costs down, CARB deployed a specially modified Toyota RAV4 EV, the first generation that received the fully electric powertrain.

Think of it as one of those bullet-proof special vehicles the Storm Chasers use in their shows to record data from the middle of tornados and supercell storms. However, instead of thick armor plates and a turret, the RAV4 EV only got a roof mounted rack with a couple of sensors and some computers inside to measure the amount of CO2 and nox.

While the Mobile Monitoring Platform looks like a DIY project, the special RAV4 actually costs $300,000, and as CARB chief said it “paints a thorough picture about what air quality is in any given community.”

The 1997 RAV4 EV used for this project has a top speed of 78 mph (126 km/h) and it takes 18 seconds to go from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h). Not that they care much about that, since its EPA rated driving range of 95 miles (153 km) is reached only if you treat it gently.

 
 
 
 
 

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