Toyota’s recently announced relationship with Tesla looks set to bear offspring already, as the two companies have signed an agreement to initiate the development of an electric version of the RAV4. In keeping with Toyota’s previously stated aim of selling EVs in America by 2012, prototypes will be made combining the Toyota RAV4 model with a Tesla electric powertrain. The first prototype has been built and is already undergoing testing by Tesla with the intention of delivering a fleet of prototypes to Toyota for evaluation this year.
In May, Tesla and TMC announced their intent to cooperate on the development of electric vehicles, parts, and production system and engineering support. Tesla seeks to learn and benefit from Toyota’s engineering, manufacturing, and production expertise, while Toyota aims to learn from Tesla’s EV technology, daring spirit, quick decision-making, and flexibility.
Tesla’s goal is to produce increasingly affordable electric cars for mainstream buyers – relentlessly driving down the cost of EVs. California-based Tesla designs and manufactures EVs and EV powertrain components, and is currently the only automaker in the U.S. that builds and sells highway-capable EVs in serial production.