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Two days after Daimler sold its entire Tesla shareholding, Toyota has reportedly sold part of its stake in the Silicon Valley-based electric car maker.

Japan’s Nikkei reports that Toyota has sold part of its Tesla shareholding on the open market, although the company has yet to confirm this and it’s not clear how many, if any, shares it has retained.

If correct, Toyota’s move pre-empts the end of its supply contract with Tesla. The current agreement sees the start-up car maker supplying the electric drivetrain that’s used in the RAV4 EV.

Sold only in California for US$49,800 ($56,600) before state and federal government rebates, the 115kW/370Nm RAV4 EV has a 41.8kWh lithium-ion battery pack that’s good for a driving range of around 166km.


In 2010, Toyota invested US$50 million ($57 million) in the electric car maker. In the same year, the two companies began work on the RAV4 EV project and Toyota sold Tesla part of its just-closed manufacturing plant in Fremont, California.

According to the Japanese business daily, Toyota held around 2.4 per cent of Tesla as of March 31. Since Tesla’s floatation on the stock market in the middle of 2010, its stock price has increased around 14-fold from an initial offering price of US$17 ($19.30) to US$234 ($267) at the time of writing.

This latest news comes just days after Daimler, parent company of Mercedes-Benz, divested its stake in Tesla.

Daimler sold its entire four per cent stake for approximately US$780m ($890m). Despite the move, the two car makers confirmed that they would continue their collaborative efforts. Tesla currently supplies Daimler with the electric powertrain that’s used in the Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive.

The electrified B-Class is currently available in the US and will soon go on sale across Europe.