PHOTO CAPTION: Toyota RAV4 EV is Tesla-Powered. Photo:EV World

Tesla-Developed Batteries for RAV4 EV Could Drive Down Costs

Company estimates cost of battery backs could be one-third that of systems being developed by other electric car manufacturers.

Published: 12-Jan-2011

Toyota Motor Corp's (7203.T) (TM.N) top engineer said the batteries that would power the electric RAV4 crossover being developed with Tesla Motors (TSLA.O) could cost as little as one-third of the electric car batteries being developed by conventional automakers.

Silicon Valley startup Tesla links together thousands of lithium-ion batteries used in laptops to power its zero-emission Roadster sports car, while automakers with electric models such as Mitsubishi Motors Corp (7211.T) and Nissan Motor Co (7201.T) use expensive batteries developed specifically for EV use.

"If (Tesla's battery structure) works, we won't have to wait for a breakthrough in battery technology to develop a relatively cheap electric vehicle," Executive Vice President Takeshi Uchiyamada, who heads Toyota's research and development, told Reuters in an interview at the Detroit auto show on Tuesday.


Th!nk City electric cars roll off Valmet assembly line in Finland.

Eltek Valere starts delivering the first chargers in February.

Prototype Better Place battery exchange robot takes under 2 minutes to remove depleted battery and replace with fully charged one.

Tesla's Model S electric sedan will incorporate battery swapping capability. Beijing is considering installing battery swapping stations.

Denise Gray in GM's battery lab in Warren, Mi.

Departure seen as another indication of GM's inability to hold good talent.


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