Toyota Motor is discounting its all-electric RAV4 through low-cost lease and loan offers to boost demand for the slow-selling compact crossover that's powered by a Tesla Motors (TSLA) battery pack and motor.

Toyota, the world's biggest maker of hybrid autos, this month is promoting the option of a $299-a-month, three-year lease for the $49,800 light truck, or a 60-month, no-interest loan, said Carly Schaffner, a company spokeswoman. The offers run through Sept. 3 and are available only in the Los Angeles and San Francisco regions, the vehicle's main markets.

Honda Motor, Nissan Motor and General Motors similarly have turned to discounted leases to buoy their rechargeable models. Toyota last year said it would sell 2,600 RAV4 EVs by the end of 2014. Through July, just 709 have been delivered since sales began last September.

"The mass market, for the most part, has been reluctant to buy these products, given the high cost of the technology," said Michelle Krebs, senior analyst for auto researcher Edmunds.com. "Toyota may not have done enough to promote the car's Tesla connection -- does anybody know it's a Tesla underneath?"

The battery-powered RAV4 arose from Toyota President Akio Toyoda's desire to work with Palo Alto-based Tesla. The project was announced in 2010, when Toyota also invested $50 million in Tesla.

Toyota, with the biggest market share in California, is under pressure to sell the most rechargeable vehicles in the state to meet strict emissions rules. Along with the electric RAV4 that goes about 100 miles per charge, Toyota sells a plug-in version of its Prius hybrid to meet state rules and will add a hydrogen-powered electric sedan in 2015.

"The use of our incentives is tactical, reinforcing our value and focus on keeping our products competitive in the market," Toyota's Schaffner said. "We're still evaluating the market demand for EVs."