Tesla and Toyota Partner on New Electric Cars
Prototype EV cars will combine Tesla battery packs, electric motors and power electronics technology with Toyota car bodies
Tesla Motors has announced it will provide two electric vehicles (EV) prototypes to Toyota by the end of July. The prototypes will combine Tesla battery packs, electric motors and power electronics technology with Toyota car bodies.
Toyota is investing $50 million in Tesla with the intent of co-producing the EV cars. This marks a change for the huge automaker, which until recently had expressed doubts about the feasibility of all-electric cars due to long charging times and distance constraints.
The EV prototypes will be tested for the performance and durability of the Tesla components, as well as to determine if they will meet Toyota quality standards. If Toyota moves forward with these production plans, it will be for a new EV, not for the iQ concept car already slated to arrive in 2012.
Tesla has sold over 1,000 Roadsters, its $100,000-plus electric sports car model. It plans to have its new Model S EV cost half as much, on the road in 2012. By then Tesla will face stiff competition from established automakers producing the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf EV cars and utilizing their established distribution channels to attract buyers.
But with the Toyota partnership and funding, Tesla may just fulfill its self-proclaimed mission of producing “awesome” EV cars.