Toyota sold all its Tesla shares by the end of 2016


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2017 Toyota Prius Prime

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Toyota quietly unloaded the rest of its Tesla shares near the end of last year.

In the process, the Japanese automaker confirmed its partnership to develop electric vehicles and related technologies had been canceled. 

Toyota has by far shown the most restraint in developing battery electric vehicles—an intriguing move from the company that introduced the Prius hybrid to the world.

DON'T MISS: Toyota hints it may be more friendly toward electric cars: report

The automaker has long blamed its hesitance on lithium-ion battery technology, something the automaker as recently as last year admitted it has perfected.

Two generations of RAV4 EV have used nickel-metal-hydride packs or Tesla motors and batteries for the compliance-car model.

Toyota spokesman Ryo Sakai said the company told Reuters its share sell-off occurred at the end of 2016 after a periodic review of investments.

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"Our development partnership with Tesla ended a while ago, and since there has not been any new developments on that front, we decided it was time to sell the remaining stake," he said.

Toyota first cut a portion of its stake in 2014—initially Toyota had bought around three percent of the electric automaker for $50 million.

It's likely Toyota made a bit of money by unloading its stake after Tesla share prices have continued to climb from $17 per share in 2010.

READ THIS: Now Toyota can make electric cars: it's tamed lithium-ion batteries, it says

Tesla has gone on to surpass Ford and General Motors is market value.

Toyota CEO, and namesake, Akio Toyoda, has often expressed his ho-hum feelings about electric cars as he works to inject passion back into the automaker's operations.

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2017 Tesla Model S

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When gifted an all-electric Toyota 86 sportscar, Toyoda described the vehicle by saying, "It's an electric car."

Hardly enthusiastic about the vehicle, Toyoda continues to lead the automaker's in-house electric vehicle division and dream up ways to have consumers fall in love with the propulsion method.

CHECK OUT: Shift to electric cars will cost money, may lack excitement: Toyota CEO

Tesla, on the other hand, prepares to launch the affordable Model 3 sedan and will introduce an electric semi truck later this year.

An all-electric pickup truck will arrive in the next two years as well.


[hat tips: Andrew Chiang, Brian Henderson]

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