Fuel Cells Yes - Electric No! Toyota Ends Tesla Deal
WASHINGTON DC - May 14, 2014: The NADA reported that Toyota said on Monday that it would allow a battery-supply deal with Tesla Motors to expire this year and would focus instead on building cars running on hydrogen fuel cells, a next-generation technology that rivals Tesla's all-electric systems.
Toyota Motor invested $50 million in Tesla to acquire a 3 percent stake in the Silicon Valley upstart in 2010, and signed a $100 million joint-development deal in 2011 for a version of Toyota's RAV4 crossover sport utility vehicle that carried Tesla's electric powertrains. At the time, the two automakers suggested that the RAV4 electric vehicle could be the start of a wider collaboration.
The Japanese automaker said its focus this year would instead be on its four-door sedan powered by hydrogen fuel cells, which it plans to introduce in California next year. The automaker will also focus on developing hydrogen refueling stations to support fuel-cell technology, it said.
"It's obvious Toyota doesn't see a market for electric vehicles", said John O'Dell, green-car analyst at the auto-research site Edmunds.com. "They really see the future of the zero-emission vehicle as the hydrogen vehicle"; he said.