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Toyota and Tesla Discussing Billion-Dollar Deal

Japanese giant and American start-up meanwhile reveals plans for building RAV4 EV.

by on Aug.05, 2011

Toyota will build the RAV4 EV on the same Ontario assembly line producing the conventional version of the crossover.

Is there a billion-dollar deal in the works between Japanese auto giant Toyota and the American battery-car upstart Tesla Motors? That appears to be a very real possibility according to comments by Tesla’s founder Elon Musk.

The relationship between the two manufacturers has rapidly been picking up speed since Toyota first decided to turn to Tesla to help develop a battery-electric version of the RAV4 crossover.  Scheduled to go into production next year, the partners today confirmed the RAV4 EV will be produced at the Toyota assembly plant in Woodstock, Ontario.

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The $100 million project is just the start, however, and the makers have already confirmed they are looking at a variety of options to stretch their partnership.  But this week, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk put a framework around things by suggesting the projects under study could expand the existing arrangement by “an order of magnitude.”