Tesla pulling plug on Toyota RAV4 EV battery deal

2013 Toyota RAV4 EV
2013 Toyota RAV4 EV
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The future of the Toyota RAV4 EV appears to be in doubt. Tesla supplies the EVs battery packs, and it says that production ends later this year.

"Toyota is expected to end the current RAV4 EV model this year," Tesla said in its quarterly financial filing obtained by Bloomberg. "Our production activities under this program are expected to end in 2014," the company said.

This timeline fits closely with the original production plans for the RAV4 EV. When the $100-million project was first announced, Tesla said that it expected to supply battery packs for the vehicle from 2012 to 2014. Building components for the Japanese automaker continues to bring in money, though. In the company's Q1 2014 letter to shareholders, it said: "Automotive revenue included $15 million of Toyota powertrain sales." According to Bloomberg, Toyota has sold just 1,594 RAV4 EV models from 2012 through April 2014. Initially, the business had estimated that it would sell 2,600 units of the electrified crossover.

Toyota has not officially said that it plans to end production of the RAV4 EV yet. Of course, doing so wouldn't really come as a shock, since the vehicle is still based on a previous generation platform. Toyota is also known to be readying its FCV Concept hydrogen vehicle for production in 2015. The cutting-edge model might appeal to a different market, but it will still help the Japanese automaker maintain its leadership in electric propulsion.

Autoblog has reached out to Toyota asking for comments on the future of its RAV4 EV and will update this story if we learn more.

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