Toyota RAV4Tesla Motors (TSLA) has signed a $60 million contract with Toyota Motor (TM) to develop an all-electric version of the popular RAV4 compact sports-utility vehicle, Tesla said Wednesday.

Toyota and Tesla agreed to the $60 million contract on Oct. 6, Tesla disclosed in a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The agreement calls for Tesla to develop the battery, power electronics module, motor, gearbox and software for the RAV4 (current gasoline models pictured), the filing said.

The companies disclosed plans in July to begin working together to develop the vehicle, prototypes of which Tesla expects to deliver to Toyota later this year. The Japanese carmaker plans to begin selling all-electric RAV4 models in 2012. This formal pact followed Toyota's announcement in May that it would invest $50 million in the electric sportscar maker.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk told Reuters late last month that Tesla would serve as a key supplier to Toyota on the RAV4 project.

Musk told the news agency it was possible that the first thousand electric RAV4s could be produced at the former New United Motor Manufacturing (NUMMI) plant in Fremont, Calif., which was previously operated under a joint venture between Toyota and General Motors, until GM filed for bankruptcy last year.

Telsa's disclosure followed reports earlier this week that GM's Chevrolet Volt electric car, scheduled to hit dealer showrooms in a matter of weeks, will sometimes rely on its gasoline engine to power the vehicle under heavy acceleration or during high speeds and thus isn't a true electric vehicle.

A blogger at online car-buying guide went so far as to say GM "lied" in calling the Volt a "no comprises electric package."

In response, GM
said Tuesday it didn't disclose the technical details about the Volt "because the information was competitive and we awaited patent approvals."

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Looks like it's time for Japan to suck the life out of Tesla just like it has out of the rest of America.

October 15 2010 at 6:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Toyota is simply trying to deal with attention given to the Nissan Leaf, by getting a vehicle developed, on the cheap, through Tesla. In the end though, Musk and our tax dollars that are assiting him, will very likely be gone. The history of the auto business is littered with failed ventures..... hundreds and hundreds of them.... The capital requirements are just too high for small makers to survive for very long.

October 15 2010 at 1:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'll keep my 5.9 Liter Jeep Grand cherokee, and its almost 300HP, and over 330Pounds of torque, with an amazing 4x4 system, vs a Ford Escape with only 160HP... thanks.. If i ever need to drive a extremely long distance, I'll just drive the 4.0 Jeep Grand cherokee that i have, it gets 23mpg on the freeway... The Ford escape actually goes from 31 city to around 26mpg on the freeway... Not much of a diff is it ? Lol all you people who bought hybrids probably didnt know this.. However once you reach a certain speed like say oh 35mph or so the gas engine kicks in and you are no more effiecent then my gas guzzler. Why you ask ? Because the electric engine is around 30hp lol

October 15 2010 at 12:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Toyota had a electric RAV4 EV in the mid 90s along with GM's EV-1 . Both showed potential . Watch the film "Who Killed the Electric Car" to learn about them .

October 14 2010 at 9:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Where do you people get this stuff???? Batteries don't last long??? I drive a 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid and I haven't been able to find a single owner OR DEALER that has had to replace a battery. Not one. And I've been trying -- at dealerships and on the web. And ... you can rebuild them yourself! They are all made of a bunch of "D" cells (not the ones you buy in the store, however). And they can be replaced at much less cost than buying a whole new battery. Any CARB state (look it up on the web) already insists that all hybrid parts be warranted for 150,000 miles or 10 years, whichever come first. It's a FACT. Non-CARB states (CARB states are Calif and all New England and NY plus a few others) only warranty them for 8 years or 100,000 miles. But either warranty isn't worth a lot because the batteries just don't fail. The only ones I've found so far are those cars in accidents where the battery was compromised. And it's likely that the auto insurance paid for it. Best you get your facts straight before you make up stories, no?

October 14 2010 at 9:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

notice one thing that none of the electric car makers will talk about and that is the replacements costs of the batteries and how often it is required to be done, these are not just your average duracell d cells we are talking about here

October 14 2010 at 6:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to RICHARD's comment

Richard! And just HOW OFTEN do you believe they need replacing???? I am unable to find a single owner of a hybrid with a big battery that has ever had to replace one (I'm sure there is someone somewhere but I can't find 'em). Quit making stuff up, please.

October 14 2010 at 9:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I drove an electric RAV IV for more than a year while working for a large electric utility company. It ran great but had a limited 50 mile range.

October 14 2010 at 5:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We have to stop spoon feeding Toyota and ALL foreign car companies. They have ruined our American companies. Tesla where is your head, yeah I know--in your wallet. Wake up America, start boycotting. Mike

October 14 2010 at 5:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Smile!'s comment

You can lead the way, your computer is made in china, toss it out, your clothes are made in china toss them out, your GM is made in china toss that out, your Ford is made in mexico toss that out. Your Mopar is owned by an italian company so toss that out. Your house is helt together with imported wood and nails from china, set it on fire, your bike is made in china...

October 14 2010 at 6:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why is anyone surprised when car companies lie about anything? Look what happened with Toyota and its secret, Technical Service Bulletins on parts that should have been recalled years ago and instead Toyota covered it up until people got killed. GM is owned by 61 percent of the U.S. Government, yet it tries to kill a pro-motoring consumer bill in Congress called the Right to Repair Act, HR 2057 and S. 3181, because the bill allows motorists to have their newer cars repaired at an independent shop. Toyota and all the other car companies are trying to kill the bill too. They take our money and then they paint us into a corner. Whose going to repair these hybrids and electric cars? Only the car companies can. Not the independents. So if we break down and the proper car company is not available, you're stuck being towed for two hundred miles. If you want to have a say in where you have your vehicles repaired then log onto: and Sign the Petition twice, once for your congressman and then for both of your U.S. Senators. It's easy, just plug in your zip. It's YOUR money, YOUR life and should be YOUR choice.

October 14 2010 at 3:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

tomozzy123 is correct. The gas-powered generator just recharges the batteries, and provides some direct power to one of the two electric motors at highway speeds (>70 mph). It's only the two electric motors that provide power to the wheels. The Volt's powertrain is an extremely innovative design that provides both electric-only propulsion and long-range capability. You can rail against GM all you want, but the Volt is the only electic car that the average American driver can use for all their travel needs.

October 14 2010 at 2:15 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply