Bloomberg News

Tesla Falls as Toyota Prices Electric RAV4 Near $50,000

May 08, 2012

Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA:US), the electric-car company led by Elon Musk, fell to the lowest price in more than three months after Toyota Motor Corp. (7203) said its RAV4 sport- utility vehicle with batteries and motor from Tesla costs twice as much as a gasoline version.

Tesla declined 7 percent to $30.19 at the close in New York, the lowest level since Feb. 1. The Palo Alto, California- based company plans to release first-quarter results tomorrow.

“The details of the RAV4 EV that Toyota gave out yesterday were a little disappointing,” said Ben Schuman, an analyst with Pacific Crest Securities in Portland, Oregon, who rates Tesla shares sector perform, the equivalent of hold. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price “is a little bit high to make it appealing to a larger buyer group.”

Toyota said yesterday the electric RAV4 that goes 100 miles (161 kilometers) per charge will sell for $49,800 when it goes on sale this year in California. The Toyota City, Japan-based company, a Tesla investor, plans to deliver 2,600 units over the next three years, Bob Carter, Toyota’s U.S. group vice president said at the model’s unveiling at the Electric Vehicle Symposium in Los Angeles.

The base price of a 2012 RAV4 with a 2.5-liter gasoline engine is $22,650 on Toyota’s website.

Toyota in July 2011 agreed to pay Tesla a total of $100 million to supply lithium-ion battery packs, motors, software and other parts for the RAV4 project, part of a three-year contract, according to a filing by Tesla with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Based on Toyota’s 2,600-unit sales goal for the model, it’s paying $38,462 for components per vehicle.

“We don’t talk about development costs and costs to bring vehicles to market,” John Hanson, a spokesman for Toyota, said today. Both Carter and J.B. Straubel, Tesla’s chief technology officer, declined to discuss vehicle cost details in interviews in Los Angeles yesterday.

Tesla may report a loss of 70 cents per share tomorrow, excluding some items, the average of 11 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alan Ohnsman in Los Angeles at aohnsman@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jamie Butters at jbutters@bloomberg.net


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Companies Mentioned

  • TSLA
    (Tesla Motors Inc)
    • $223.06 USD
    • 3.99
    • 1.79%
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