LOS ANGELES (Bloomberg) -- Tesla Motors Inc., the electric-car maker backed by Toyota Motor Corp., said its initial deal to supply battery packs and motors for an electric Toyota sport-utility vehicle will be only for a few thousand vehicles.
“This is a test fleet,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in a conference call late Tuesday. “The initial phase is in the couple thousand-unit range.”
After buying a $50 million stake in Tesla this year, Toyota said in July it would develop an electric version of the compact RAV4 SUV with its new affiliate, procuring batteries, motors and other components from the Silicon Valley startup. Toyota, the world's largest automaker, agreed to pay $60 million to develop components for the project, Tesla said in a filing last month.
Toyota has yet to announce where the electric RAV4 will be built and how many it expects to sell when the model arrives in 2012. Toyota is to show a prototype of the SUV at the Los Angeles auto show next week.