Toyota To Pay Tesla $100m For 2012-2014 Electric RAV4
Tesla will begin supplying Toyota with components for its electric RAV4 a year earlier than previously planned, reports Bloomberg, a move that will have Toyota paying $100m for the drivetrains rather than the previously-agreed-upon $60m. According to a Tesla SEC filing, the EV specialist firm will supply Toyota with
a validated electric powertrain system, including a battery, charging system, inverter, motor, gearbox and associated software which will be integrated into an electric vehicle version of the Toyota RAV4. Additionally, Tesla will provide TMC with certain services related to the supply of the Tesla Battery and Powertrain.
There’s still no word about how many of these RAV4s is Toyota planning on selling over those two years, or where will they be assembled, but it sounds like Toyota isn’t trying to launch quite the EV offensive that some green car blogs seem to be hoping for. As one analyst puts it to Bloomberg, $100 million “isn’t a huge amount for Toyota, so this allows them, with only modest downside risk, to participate in what Tesla is doing.” That sounds about right…
Elan Musk is one of the great con artists of our time, and I don't know whether to hate him or envy him for it. Toyota gets a handful of demonstration vehicles that will be passed around a handful of execs and auto-journalists never coming within a hundred miles of an actual consumer. While Tesla gets a hundred million and more importantly endless headlines and a connection to a real auto-maker. This should help Tesla sell some more stock, because that's what they really do, they sure as hell don't sell cars.
Another fashion accessory for eco-poseurs that completely misses the point. I mean, how does one justify wrapping all this planet-saving technology in a tall, heavy, inefficient cute-ute that cannot go off-roading, tow a boat, bust a snowdrift or do anything even remotely utilitarian? This goofiest of golf carts is what happens when you lock a bunch of engineers in a room with a Prius and a crack pipe.
I haven't read the filing, but farmer's math would say 100m/20k per vehicle is about 5,000 EVs. A decent number that's beyond the regular 'few schools, PUs and govt' level.
As fate would have it, I was passed by a Tesla on the interstate today while driving to work. I must admit that it's neat looking, and the driver had no problem easily exceeding the speed limit. I don't know how long the commute for him was, but the machine still appeared to have plenty of vim and vigor. Electrics will to nowhere until battery technology improves by an order of magnitude, but I still was fascinated by actually seeing one of these things actually working.