Finally: Toyota And Tesla Make Something With Wheels

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
finally toyota and tesla make something with wheels

When Toyota announced their share purchase / NUMMI deal with Tesla, the greenies rejoiced, the skeptics said it’s just an elegant way to unload NUMMI. Toyota said they are mildly interested in Tesla, in a venture capital kind of way. As in: here is some money and a factory we no longer need. Would be great if something comes of it. Well, they will actually build a car together. Not the Model S as many thought. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s build a prototype first.

Toyota told The Nikkei [sub] that they will build an EV prototype together with Tesla. The mule should be ready this year. And it won’t be anything fancy. The prototype will be based on a current Toyota model and use Tesla’s lithium-ion-battery-based system. If it works, the winner will be Toyota: By using Tesla’s technologies, Toyota could lower the cost of its future electric vehicles, a Toyota executive said to the Nikkei.

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  • Daanii2 Daanii2 on Jun 13, 2010

    Interesting discussion. We are, of course, not going to solve the problems of the world by posting on this website. Still, it's good to see a range of opinions on problems and solutions. I'm looking forward to seeing what the future brings.

  • Adamatari Adamatari on Jun 13, 2010

    Bertel, I am not unaware that there are serious obstacles. I am also well aware that energy dense fuels will remain necessary to power airplanes, ships, and trucks. The question is whether we get them from the ground or whether we make them another way. I think by now we all know the litany of issues with fossil fuels, and if we don't we can turn on the TV and see part of the issue quite clearly. Electric CARS, however, are doable. They are at the development stage comparable to something like a 1930s car, though. The IC engine has been worked and reworked to it's modern high development, while electric cars have not seen anywhere near the same invested time, money and R&D. Hawaii has a certain set of issues when it comes to energy. The demand there is higher than can easily be met by local sources. There is geothermal on the Big Island, as well as at least two places where wind farms have been put up. Wave energy is another possibility in the future as well. Unfortunately, Hawaii is far away from everywhere and so to import energy it must import fuel. On the North American continent, the issues of land space and remoteness don't exist in the same way. For example, the ideal places to put solar installations are in Arizona and New Mexico. There is plenty of land, even after you cross out protected areas and such. Transmission to other states can be easily done. Also, having no A/C in Hawaii is not ideal, but it's hardly what I call a terrible sacrifice (of course depending on where you are and how well the house is designed). I can live with that, and in fact I did for several years. Overall, the biggest obstacle is that we have spent trillions and decades on oil, so it's cheap and we know what to do. It will take the same for other fuels and energy sources.

    • Steven02 Steven02 on Jun 14, 2010

      No A/C in Hawaii, not that bad. In Texas, a must. Need heat up North as well. The problem also becomes what do you use if it isn't fossil fuels. Solar power in AZ and NM, might be good for CA, NV, and TX, but not to places further away. Unfortunately, the obstacles to other sources are quite large. I am all for using less fossil fuels, but right now, I simply can't.

  • Nick Nick on Jun 14, 2010

    Well, at least the Tesla is closer to fruition than this supercar: Maybe.

  • Probert Probert on Jun 14, 2010

    @Daanii2 You're just making things up. Tesla makes fantastic electric cars by cleverly utilizing existing tech with proprietary tech, wind power is generating electricity all over the country, and the largest subsidies go to big oil. What's your point.