Several news reports over the weekend noted that Tesla’s contract to supply Toyota with electric powertrains for its RAV4 EV crossover would end next year.
In the words of Tesla’s latest quarterly report, cited by Bloomberg in a Saturday news story, “Toyota is expected to end the current RAV4 EV model this year.”
But a few other outlets have extrapolated this statement to indicate that the Toyota-Tesla deal is ending “early”–or that there was a possibility the RAV4 EV might continue beyond 2014–which contradicts what’s known about the deal, and the RAV4 EV itself.
In May 2010, Toyota shocked the industry by announcing it would buy a share in Tesla Motors, following a visit by its new CEO Akio Toyoda to Tesla’s Silicon Valley headquarters and a meeting with its CEO Elon Musk.
The deal included Tesla’s purchase of Toyota’s decommissioned assembly plant in nearby Fremont, California, which Tesla now uses to build its Model S all-electric luxury sedan.
The investment also included a contract under which Tesla would build complete electric powertrains–battery packs, electric motors, and associated electronics–for an all-electric version of the Toyota RAV4 that Toyota would use to comply with California rules requiring it to sell a certain number of zero-emission vehicles.
That car, the Toyota RAV4 EV, was shown as a concept at the November 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show, in production form the following year, and went on sale in September 2012. Toyota said it would sell 2,600 Toyota RAV4 EVs during model years 2012 through 2014.
Related stories From Daily Tech Whip