Saturday, July 17, 2010

Electric Cars: LIthium twist: Why Toyota Likes Tesla TNR.v, TSLA, CZX.v, TM, RM.v, LMR.v, WLC.v, LIT.v, LI.v, RTP, GOOG, AAPL, FCX, BHP, BYDDY, GM,


This article is spot on the money about Toyota's motivation and now you can grasp significance of this development for Lithium market from few previous articles. Toyota has perfected the art of deception in Lithium space and can move very fast to the front line fighting back Nissan Leaf and GM Volt. It means EV mass market competition within next two to three years, low lithium battery prices and significant Lithium Demand.



"In the end Toyota's investment in Tesla was buying time to market for Electric Cars. This is very encouraging news. Tesla's battery and power drive technology multiplied by Toyota's mass production facilities means a mass market for Electric Cars. Now we have more clues why Japanese trading houses are so active in Lithium market space.


"It is a very significant development not only for Tesla, but for Toyota and EV mass market evolution. Tesla has gained more credibility with this move and it is all about Tesla S model mass production. Roadster was making headlines, but not sales numbers. Tesla S promised to be a 5 seater with more than 200 miles range and price tag of 50000USD. It will not be able to compete with Nissan Leaf at USD25000 after federal tax rebate, but it is the move into right direction. Now apart from Mercedes, Tesla can count on Toyota's expertise in safety, mass production and cost control. Toyota way into EV space is not straight forward, it is the case when actions are more significant than words and sometimes words could be misleading. Toyota announced last September that after years of research they do not see Lithium batteries as a commercial choice for Hybrids at the moment. Lithium juniors crashed with the news hitting the wires. After that surprisingly Toyota place on display a few advanced models of Hybrids and plug-ins with lithium batteries an Frankfurt Motor show 2009. Toyota engineers at the show were talking about clear advantage for use of Lithium batteries. Later 2009 Toyota trading house took a stake in upcoming Lithium developer Orocobre Resources with lithium brine salar in Argentina. Now they have quickly moved into Tesla buying the time and expertise on lithium battery side and controlling systems. It has happen just weeks after the usual bashing of EVs and that Hybrids are the only way in the future."





Forbes:


Electric Cars

Why Toyota Likes Tesla

Joann Muller, 07.16.10, 02:00 PM EDT
It needs an electric car quickly, and Tesla's got the goods.



DETROIT -- It seems odd: After all the research Toyota Motor and its partner, Panasonic, have done in the area of advanced lithium-ion batteries, the Japanese carmaker decided that maybe Tesla Motors' crude approach--stringing together a bunch of laptop batteries--is the preferred way to power electric vehicles, at least for now.

The two companies said Friday they have signed an agreement to start developing an electric version of Toyota's ( TM - news - people ) RAV4 SUV to go on sale in 2012. It's the first fruits of a partnership announced in May, when Toyota purchased a $50 million stake in the startup electric car company, and Tesla purchased a former Toyota factory in Fremont, Calif.


Tesla will deliver 30 to 35 electric RAV4 prototypes by the first of the year, a Toyota spokesman said.

Toyota is still going ahead with plans for a small urban electric car for 2012, likely powered by lithium batteries made by Panasonic, its joint venture partner in Japan.

But Toyota, the leader in hybrid-electric vehicles, still isn't convinced there's a large market for electric vehicles. "If we're going to make these vehicles successful, especially after government incentives go away, we're going to have make them affordable," said company spokesman John Hanson.

Tesla, maker of a sleek $109,000 electric roadster, might have a good interim solution, Toyota figures. The start-up founded by PayPal founder Elon Musk strung together 6,831 laptop batteries and designed an elaborate control system meant to ensure the car doesn't burst into flames if one of the batteries fails. Tesla is now working on a second, more affordable car, called the Model S.


"It looks like they've got a pretty good setup and we want to know more about it," said Hanson, who said both companies will learn from each other.

Roger Wery, a partner in the alternative energy practice of consulting firm PRTM, called Toyota's dalliance with Tesla "a hedging strategy."

It's a relatively cheap way for Toyota to catch up with rivals like Nissan ( NSANY - news - people ) and General Motors in battery-powered vehicles while it continues its own research, he said.

It’s the same reason Daimler purchased 10% of Tesla back in 2009, and is using Tesla’s battery technology in its Smart ForTwo electric car. Daimler has a battery joint venture with Evonik Industries AG, a German chemicals company.

It's not the first electric RAV4 Toyota has marketed. In the late 1990s through the early 2000s, it sold about 1,500 RAV4s with a giant nickel-hydride battery. About 500 are still on the road."
Post a Comment