Sunday, July 11, 2010

Tesla to deliver two electric vehicles to the world’s largest auto maker by the end of month TNR.v, TSLA, CZX.v, RM.v, LI.v, WLC.v, LMR.v, CLQ.v, HEV

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."

Business Standard:

Tesla formalises Toyota deal, to deliver two cars

Reuters / San Francisco/nagoya/japan July 11, 2010, 0:00 IST

Electric car maker Tesla Motors said on Friday it signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Japanese auto maker Toyota Motor Corp to deliver two electric vehicles to the world’s largest auto maker by the end of month.

“Since our announcement in May, Toyota and Tesla engineering teams have made a lot of progress in a short amount of time and it is exciting to start seeing some initial results,” Tesla Chief Technology Officer JB Straubel said.

“The prototypes will combine Toyota vehicles with Tesla electric powertrains,” Straubel added.

Tesla had announced the partnership to develop electric vehicles with Toyota in May, but revealed in a regulatory filing that it had no formal deal in place with the Japanese auto maker.

The MoU was signed on Thursday, a Tesla spokesman said, but declined to reveal which Toyota vehicles the company was working on.

Earlier on Friday, Toyota President Akio Toyoda told reporters in Japan Toyota was interested in experimenting with Tesla’s approach of using lithium-ion battery cells developed for the electronics industry as a potential alternative to developing batteries tailor-made for its own vehicles.

“We’ll see which better meets the needs of consumers. We’re taking a multi-faceted approach,” Toyoda said.

Engineering teams from the two auto makers had been meeting and working on the prototypes, Tesla said. The comments represent the most detail the two companies have provided about the scope of a still-developing partnership with Tesla announced in May by Toyoda and Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Meanwhile, Toyota was also continuing work on a battery-powered small car the Japanese auto maker planned to launch in 2012, senior executives said on Friday.

Toyota invested $50 million in Tesla in a private placement after the electric vehicle maker’s initial public offering (IPO) in June. After zooming 40 per cent on their first day of trading on June 29, Tesla shares have come back to earth and are trading around their IPO price of $17.

Toyota Executive Vice President Shinichi Sasaki said the world’s largest auto maker was open to other partnerships, like its Tesla deal, as it believed a number of alternatives to traditional gas engines could find a market in the next few years."
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