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Tesla to Deliver 2 EV Prototypes to Toyota

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The Palo Alto startup Tesla Motors will deliver two EV prototypes to Toyota by the end of the month, a Tesla executive said Saturday.

Earlier on Friday, Toyota President Akio Toyoda told reporters in Japan Toyota was interested in experimenting with Tesla’s approach of using lithium-ion battery cells developed for the electronics industry as a potential alternative to developing batteries tailor-made for its own vehicles.

The project with Tesla is separate from a previously announced electric car Toyota plans to sell by 2012, Toyoda said. Toyota has said it's working on a two-passenger “urban commuter” electric car that will likely have range of 50 miles or less per charge.

Toyota struck a partnership with Tesla in May, in which it sold Tesla a factory in California and invested $50 million in the electric car maker, which went public earlier this month.

“Since our announcement in May, Toyota and Tesla engineering teams have made a lot of progress in a short amount of time, and it is exciting to start seeing some initial results,” JB Straubel, Tesla's chief technology officer said in an e-mail message.

Tesla has signed an agreement to deliver two prototypes to Toyota by the end of July. Both prototypes are modified Toyota vehicles, CNN reported.

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