Thursday, October 14, 2010

Toyota RAV4-new version of the Toyota Rav4 EV

Toyota RAV4 SUVs are about to get an extreme electronic makeover thanks to niche automaker Tesla. Electric car producer Telsa Motor Corp. said it would team up with Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp. to produce an "electric version of Toyota's RAV4".

Tesla has also purchased a former Toyota factory in Fremont, Calif., where it produced cars in partnership with General Motors Co.

Back in July, Tesla and Toyota announced that the electric vehicle they'd announced they were co-developing two months prior was a new version of the Toyota Rav4 EV. Today, Tesla has revealed more details about the nature of the project.

Under the terms of the agreement, Tesla will develop a battery, motor, gearbox, "power electronics module" and all the necessary software for an all-electric version of Toyota's Rav4 compact SUV.

For their services, Toyota will pay Tesla some $60 million paid over the term of the agreement. Toyota announced when the project began in July that the "Toyota RAV4" EV would reach the market in 2012.

That sum comes in addition to the stake Toyota has already acquired in Tesla. Prior to the initial deal in announced in July, Toyota had agreed to buy $50 million of Tesla's common stock in a private placement transaction that took effect when Tesla filed its Initial Public Offering, which netted the EV-maker $226 million.

Tesla Motors Inc. will receive approximately $60 million from Toyota Motor Corp. to research and develop an electrical powertrain system for a new version of Toyota’s popular RAV4 crossover SUV, according to information filed with the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission.
Some sources indicate Tesla will adapt the battery system already used in its Tesla Roadster luxury sports cars for the new Toyota RAV4.

A previous electric version of the Toyota RAV4 was manufactured from 1997 to 2003. The Toyota investment was critical to the success of Tesla’s June initial public offering, which raised $226 million for the fledgling automaker.

At the time of Toyota’s investment, Tesla agreed to buy Toyota’s recently closed New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. plant in Fremont, Calif.

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