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First North American-produced Toyota Electric Vehicle to utilize existing RAV4 plant


August 10, 2011
By Alyssa Dalton

August 10, 2011 – Toyota and Tesla Motors Inc. (Tesla) have announced its jointly-developed RAV4 electric vehicle will be built at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc. (TMMC) in Woodstock, Ont. in early 2012. 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, they added.

“TMMC is going to be the first in North America to build a Toyota electric vehicle. Our team members are fully committed to building the finest, highest quality electric vehicle on the road,” said TMMC president Brian Krinock.

Toyota also confirmed it will pay Tesla approximately $100 million to supply the electric powertrain, which includes the battery, motor, gear box and power electronics for the RAV4 EV. Meanwhile Tesla is set to build the electric powertrains at its production facility in Palo Alto, Calif. and then ship them to TMMC for final assembly into the vehicle.

Details including pricing, volume and regional distribution will be determined and announced at a later time. A decision about sales in Canada has not yet been made. Last July, Tesla and Toyota Engineering and Manufacturing North America (TEMA) collaborated to convert 32 conventional gas-engine RAV4 compact SUVs into fully functional RAV4 EV prototypes.

According to Toyota, the RAV4 EV is only one of several upcoming advanced-technology products for the automaker. In addition to expanding the Prius family with the upcoming Prius v and Prius Plug-in Hybrid, it has announced it will introduce an electric version of the Scion iQ in 2012 and a Hydrogen Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle by 2015.