Toyota has revealed that it sold all of its shares in Tesla by the end of 2016, effectively ending its partnership with Tesla. Toyota and Tesla formed a partnership to co-develop electric vehicles in 2010, with Toyota acquiring a three percent stake in Tesla for $50 million.
Toyota has formed an in-house division to develop electric vehicles
Toyota initially started selling off its shares in Tesla as early as 2014, since there weren’t any significant developments in their partnership. At the beginning of the partnership Tesla and Toyota teamed up to develop the RAV4 electric vehicle in 2011, but sales ended after three years and only 2,500 units were built.
Initially both parties were excited about the partnership with Elon Musk stating:
“Toyota is a company founded on innovation, quality, and commitment to sustainable mobility. It is an honor and a powerful endorsement of our technology that Toyota would choose to invest in and partner with Tesla. We look forward to learning and benefiting from Toyota’s legendary engineering, manufacturing, and production expertise.”
But since the RAV4 EV went out of production, there hasn’t been any further EVs as a result of the partnership.
“Our development partnership with Tesla ended a while ago, and since there has not been any new developments on that front, we decided it was time to sell the remaining stake,” said Toyota spokesman Ryo Sakai.
Toyota has been slow to embrace full electric vehicles with most of its attention only focusing on hybrids, like the Prius. Late last year, Toyota formed a new EV division that will help strategize and develop EVs.