October 16, 2010

2012 Toyota RAV4 EV to use Tesla Motors' components

It has been officially confirmed that the upcoming electric-powered Toyota RAV4 EV compact crossover SUV, which is expected to arrive sometime in 2012, will have its crucial components --including the battery and the gearbox-- developed by the U.S.-based Tesla Motors company.

According to Tesla's filing with SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission,) the American electric car maker will develop virtually whole electric powertrain system for the RAV4 EV, "including a battery, power electronics module, motor, gearbox and associated software". By the time the deal is complete, the Japanese company will pay Tesla around $60 million for the services.

The same document says that in July 2010, when Tesla finished its rollercoaster IPO, Toyota paid $50 million for its "common stock in a private placement transaction."

I hope that the American independent automaker will spend the money well polishing their upcoming 2012 Tesla Model S family electric sedan, which, in its own turn, is going to provide underpinnings for Tesla's own all-electric crossover SUV.

Some of you may remember the original Toyota RAV4 EV that was produced by TMC from 1997 to 2003. Sporting a range of around 180 km per single charge and a top speed of 125 km/h, the light SUV was equipped with 24 12-volt 95Ah 27 kWh NiMH batteries.

Although initially the car was available only to business entities, municipalities and such, by the time the vehicle was discontinued Toyota sold or leased 328 units to private persons.

The car proved to be quite durable, since out of 1577 vehicles that were sold or leased for the six years, around 800 are still in use.

Photo: Toyota

See also: Toyota RAV4 Cross Sport to be unveiled in Frankfurt

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