Tesla signs $60-million deal to develop electrics for Toyota RAV4 EV
New financial and technical details have emerged about the recently announced agreement between Toyota and Tesla regarding efforts to create an EV variant of the popular Toyota RAV4 compact SUV. According to information contained in a filing made last week by Tesla before the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Tesla Motors will receive around $60 million from Toyota Motor Corporation to develop "a validated powertrain system, including a battery, power electronics module, motor, gearbox and associated software, which will be integrated into an electric vehicle version of the RAV4." All of these key electric components will be derived from those currently being used in the Tesla Roadster.
This latest news follows up on the announcement made in May by Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, that his organization would acquire the currently-shuttered New United Motors Manufacturing, Inc (NUMMI) assembly plant In Fremont, California, with financial help from Toyota. It's currently refurbishing the facility to use as the production base for the upcoming 2012 Tesla Model S sedan as well as for a number of other future vehicles. In July, Toyota purchased $50 million in Tesla Motors common stock following completion of the Palo Alto-based EV automaker's initial public offering. Toyota has confirmed that prototype RAV4 EV models are already undergoing preliminary testing and that the first production versions of the new Toyota RAV4 EV will go on sale here sometime in 2012.