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Toyota RAV4 EV phased out as Tesla battery deal ends

Production of the Toyota RAV4 EV will very likely cease this year as Tesla Motor’s deal to supply battery packs for the electric junior SUV ends.

Toyota originally agreed to buy the electrical hardware for 2,600 examples of the RAV4 EV from Tesla in 2012, the sales of which have allowed the Japanese automaker to comply with the California Air Resources Board’s regulations and sell thousands of gasoline cars as a consequence.

It looks certain that Toyota will now earn its Zero Emissions Vehicle credits will sales of its upcoming hydrogen fuel cell, which will boast a range of around 300 miles with a refueling time measured in minutes. Prices are yet to be announced, but with the cars expected to cost more than $70,000 leasing is likely to be the norm.

Despite its status as an unashamed compliance car, the RAV4 EV remains one of the best electric cars money can buy. Huge practicality, an impressive turn of pace, and range in excess of 100 miles means that only Tesla’s own Model S beats it hands down. A lofty price tag of around $50,000 has held sales back, however, particularly since the Model S went on sale for not much more.


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