The all-electric variation of the Toyota Rav4 will be put up for sale by 2012, Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed. The baby SUV was first seen at the LA motor show in 2010. It is equipped with a Tesla electric powertrain. Musk trusts that it will be the "the best small electric car on the market" once it goes on sale.
The CEO further disclosed that the partnership between the two companies was progressing well, pointing out that Toyota is a "great supporter and advisor" for Tesla, especially when it comes to manufacturing.
Tesla obtained the former Toyota/GM NUMMI plant in Fremont, California, in 2010 in order to assemble its future range of electric models. However, the electric Rav4 will be built by Toyota in Canada in spite of the capacity at the Fremont plant. According to Musk, it was "Toyota’s choice."
He further stated that they will be manufacturing the drivetrains and the battery packs. Musk also mentioned that if it were up to him, he would like Tesla to "remain independent for the next few years."
He also shared that he would not like to see in the future a potential sale of Tesla to another group or manufacturer, explaining that Tesla is a "catalyst for the industry" and is encouraging forward electric vehicle development. However, a takeover is possible considering that Musk only owns one third of the company.