Tech News

Tesla and Toyota hop Into bed

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Tesla motors, and their leading vision for electric hybrid vehicles. Well yesterday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took one giant leap forward in making that vision a reality.

At Toyota’s annual dealer meeting in Las Vegas yesterday, Musk and Toyota President Akio Toyoda announced a $60 million dollar agreement to develop a new version of the Rav4 with the super cool Tesla electric powertrain.

The filing reads:
On October 6, 2010, Tesla Motors, Inc. entered into a Phase 1 Contract Services Agreement with Toyota Motor Corporation  for the development of a validated powertrain system, including a battery, power electronics module, motor, gearbox and associated software, which will be integrated into an electric vehicle version of the RAV4. Pursuant to the Agreement, based on preliminary specifications, TMC will pay Tesla approximately $60 million for the development services to be provided by Tesla.

Tesla expects to have a fleet of RAV4 prototypes later this year, and a commercial model of the vehicle will be ready by 2012.

News organizations, and more important every EV startup around the world, is now swooning after seeing the possibility of going from, well…just a well funded startup, to the parts provider for one of the world’s biggest automakers! Does this spell a paradigm shift in auto-making? Are we finally waking up? Or have the “auto-crats” just finally found a way to make electric vehicles profitable?

Maybe it’s all of the above. But regardless of the reasoning, it spells a victory for entrepreneurs, efficient energy initiatives, and more importantly for our children.

All the best,
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Jay Kubassek