Toyota has the most name recognition in the
hybrid vehicle market with its category leading Prius
family. Tesla is one of the biggest names in fully electric vehicles with
its Tesla Roadster and the new Model S that is currently
in beta testing.
Tesla and Toyota announced
last year that the pair would team up to build an electric only version of
the RAV4 SUV. However, Toyota last week revealed
that the RAV4 EV would now be built at the Toyota
plant in Woodstock, Ontario where the gasoline version of the
RAV4 is constructed rather than the previously announced Tesla plant.
Toyota says that this will streamline and
simplify the build process for the vehicles.
“The Tesla-Toyota joint development team has
agreed that building the vehicle at the Woodstock plant on the same line as the
gasoline-powered RAV4, will streamline and simplify the production process and
guarantee the highest level of quality control,” said Ray Tanguay, TMMC
Chairman, who hosted Canadian officials at the plant today and thanked them for
their support. “This is a great example of Toyota’s determination to
collaborate with companies with leading edge technology.”
When the deal for Tesla to build the RAV4 EV was first
announced late last year the EV RAV4 was to be built completely at
the Tesla NUMMI plant. Toyota will still pay Tesla about $100 million to build
the electric powertrain at its California facility and then ship them to the
Toyota Ontario plant for construction. The construction of the EV will start
With the new deal, Toyota will be responsible for
the final construction and integration of the EV powertrain into the SUV. The
RAV4 EV will be sold in the U.S. through Toyota dealers with pricing and
availability to be announced at a later date.