Toyota will receive two prototypes this month, Tesla said July 10 without elaborating. While Toyota also aims to test an electric Corolla, the RAV4 and RX are better suited to the weight of Tesla's battery pack, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the models haven't been announced yet.
Toyota's President Akio Toyoda said last week the partnership with Tesla, maker of the $109,000 electric Roadster, is the first of several the Toyota City, Japan-based company wants to pursue in advanced auto technologies.
Toyota, the world's largest seller of hybrid autos, bought a $50 million stake in Palo Alto, California-based Tesla this month.
“We anticipate range and acceleration exceeding that of other announced electric vehicles of this class,” Elon Musk, chief executive officer of Tesla, said today in an e-mailed message. He declined to discuss project details.
Keisuke Kirimoto, a Tokyo-based spokesman for Toyota, said he couldn't confirm the models. Toyota bought its stake in Tesla July 2, he said.
The target for a model developed with Tesla would be for a car that costs about $40,000 with 150 miles (240 kilometers) of driving range per charge, the person familiar with the plans said.
“Toyota and Tesla engineering teams have made a lot of progress in a short amount of time,” JB Straubel, Tesla's chief technology officer, said in a July 10 e-mail message to Autonews.
Unlike Toyota, Nissan Motor Co., and other companies readying battery models, Tesla vehicles use thousands of the same type of small lithium-ion battery cells that power laptop computers.
- With Auto news Inputs