Toyota is pulling the plug on the RAV4-EV, the battery-electric version of the soft-roader it introduced two years ago with the help of electric vehicle start-up Tesla Motors.
This year’s phase-out of the RAV4-EV comes as the Japanese giant gets ready to launch its new hydrogen-powered FCV, which made its debut at the Tokyo Motor Show last autumn. While it has been the most successful manufacturer of conventional hybrids, Toyota has repeatedly expressed its concerns about pure battery-electric vehicles relying on advanced lithium-ion batteries.
The move also comes as Tesla gets ready to launch its own, first battery-electric SUV, the Model X due to market something in 2015.
“Our contract called for Tesla to supply approximately 2500 battery-electric powertrains for the RAV4 EV. We anticipate that volume will be achieved this year,” noted John Hanson, Toyota’s national manager of advanced technology communications.