Toyota and Tesla will develop battery-powered test mules of the Toyota RAV4 and Lexus RX, sources connected to the companies have revealed.

Although Toyota also aims to test an electric Corolla, the RAV4 and RX light trucks are better suited to the weight of Tesla’s battery pack, the sources told Bloomberg.

Full road test of the Tesla Roadster

It is understood that Tesla is required to provide the cars by the end of July using powertrains developed by the US company on existing Toyota models.

“We anticipate range and acceleration exceeding that of other announced electric vehicles of this class,” said Elon Musk, chief executive officer of Tesla.

Toyota president Akio Toyoda said the tie-up between the Japanese company and Tesla, which makes the Lotus Elise-based electric Roadster, represents the first stage in a green partnership.

Toyota, the world’s largest seller of hybrid cars, bought a $50 million (£33m) stake in California-based Tesla in May.

Andrew Papworth

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