Ok let’s get past the pun in the title and deal with the news story here, and what a story, even the terminator (erm… I mean Arnold Schwarzenegger) got involved in what could potentially be the beginning of electric cars for the masses. Tesla with the Elise based Roadster can safely say they had created the world’s first desirable all-electric car, in that it wasn’t some form of legalised euthanasia, far from it as the car took full advantage of the high levels of torque a battery can offer. However the company’s next project, the Model S sedan, wasn’t in the most secure situation financially. This is where Akio Toyoda steps in. And no he’s not a Pokémon, he’s just Japanese.
The Toyota CEO has announced that the company will invest $50,000,000 into Tesla in return of a share of the stocks. This money can be used to prepare a manufacturing facility for the Model S that is set to go on sale by 2012. This deal also allows Tesla to take advantage of Toyota’s production methods, that could aid in reducing the cars overall cost, and also the ability to use some Toyota suppliers.
Taking a step back from this situation you can already begin to see the path both Tesla and Toyota have chosen. Toyota’s investment benefits Tesla in many ways, but I feel it’s the investors who are gaining the better deal. Toyota could decide to use some Tesla technology that will have been tried and tested by the Model S for upcoming models. This would then reduce the costs for Toyota’s research and development department whilst increasing the products capabilities. Both of these brands prosper but Tesla could have potentially given Toyota the key to becoming the world’s most successful EV producer. Watch this space.