Toyota plans to discontinue production of electric versions of the RAV4 compact crossover, called the RAV4-EV. The Japanese automaker did not say why it decided to no longer pursue the EV project.
But the company has expressed concerns in the past about battery-powered electric vehicles, TheDetroitBureau.com noted.
Toyota has been far more successful with hybrid vehicles – those powered by gas engines and electric motors – than with pure electrics.
In addition, the decision to end RAV4-EV production may raise questions about Toyota's relationship with California electric-car manufacturer Tesla, TheDetroitBureau said.
Tesla provided the batteries and drivetrain for the RAV4. Moreover, Telsa plans to offer its own electric-powered SUV next year.
Toyota, meanwhile, is preparing to launch a new hydrogen-powered vehicle.
"Our contract called for Tesla to supply approximately 2,500 battery-electric powertrains for the RAV4-EV," said John Hanson, national manager of advanced technology communications. "We anticipate that volume will be achieved this year."
Hanson said the relationship between Toyota and Tesla remains good and that Toyota "will evaluate the feasibility of working together on future projects."
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