PALO ALTO, CA - Electric vehicle maker Tesla plans to introduce a small electric SUV in 2014, the Los Angeles Times reported. The vehicle is called Model X.
Meanwhile, Tesla continues to collaborate with Toyota to develop an electric version of the RAV4 compact SUV. In addition, the automaker is preparing its own Tesla Model S for production beginning in mid-2012.Tesla expects to produce about 20,000 of the Model S sedans annually.
In other company news, Tesla announced it has launched a program to recycle its battery packs throughout Europe.
Tesla will recycle its battery packs at Umicore's UHT facility in Belgium. The Brussels-based company will use the expended pack material to produce an alloy that will be further refined into cobalt, nickel and other metals.
After that, Umicore will transform the cobalt into high-grade lithium cobalt oxide, which can be resold to battery manufacturers. One of the few byproducts of this approach is a clean, inert slag containing calcium oxides and lithium. The slag goes into the production of special-grade concretes.