Tesla will develop an all-electric RAV4 compact SUV for Toyota to go on sale in 2012, according to USA Today. One prototype is already being tested with a larger test fleet to be built later this year.
It’s an interesting move on many levels. Toyota has maintained the lead in green sales since the second-generation Prius went on sale. The current Prius outsells every other hybrid on the market many times over, and it is the most fuel-efficient car on the road.
It’s strange that a company that heralded the latest Prius being designed by 1,000 Toyota engineers would allow a small start-up to take the reins on what could be its first all-electric vehicle to go on sale in the U.S. Add the recent questioning of Toyota’s storied reliability after millions of recalls and the move seems even riskier.