2012 Toyota RAV4 EVEnlarge Photo
Toyota on Saturday revealed that it sold its remaining shares in Tesla at the end of 2016. The Japanese automaker previously sold some of the shares in 2014.
Toyota’s investment in Tesla followed that of Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler in 2009. Daimler bought 10 percent of Tesla for an undisclosed double-digit figure in the millions but sold all of its shares in 2014 after determining that pure EVs had a viable future.
With Daimler preparing its own volume electric cars, the German automaker was wary of buyers believing its cars were using Tesla technology.
Toyota originally bought 3 percent of Tesla in 2010 for $50 million. The two automakers even shared some development which for Toyota led to the introduction of the RAV4 EV in 2012.
Shortly after the introduction of the RAV4 EV, Toyota—foolishly—decided to abandon battery-powered electric cars and focus on hydrogen fuel cell cars, leading to the Mirai in 2016.
Realizing its folly, Toyota in 2016 established a department to focus on pure EVs and is now in the race to start volume production by 2020. Like Daimler before it, Toyota is probably wary of its electric cars being linked with Tesla technology.