Tesla and Toyota Make Formal Agreement to (re) Develop Electric RAV4
In brief: Tesla Motors and Toyota Motor have signed an agreement to begin development of a new-generation electric RAV4 with the aim to have them on the market by 2012.
Vehicle in the news
Manufacturer: Toyota / Tesla
Tesla will be delivering a fleet of prototypes before the end of the year to begin evaluation. The prototypes will be based on the RAV4's current model, sleds of which are arriving at Tesla Motors for conversion now.
In May, Tesla and Toyota had announced an agreement to build two prototype electrics. Those have already been completed and are now in Toyota's hands. The agreement helped to solidify relations between the two companies.
From this process, Tesla will gain valuable manufacturing experience, as proud new owner of the NUMMI plant in California (purchased from Toyota). Toyota, a stake partner in Tesla, will gain electrification experience - something they don't have much of yet.
The ultimate goal is to have the new electric RAV4 on the market by 2012. Speculation says that the vehicles may be built in the NUMMI plant alongside Tesla's upcoming Model S sedan.
Vehicle testing will take place in California through fleet agreements and individual users.
And so ...
Pretty exciting, as only 1,485 of the first-generation RAV4 electrics were ever made, only a few of which are still on the road.
Photo credits: Toyota
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