Each part has its interest, Tesla seeks to learn and benefit from Toyota’s engineering, manufacturing and production expertise, while Toyota aims to learn from Tesla’s EV technology, daring spirit, quick decision-making, and flexibility.
Since its foundation in 1937, Toyota Motor Corporation has operated under the philosophy of “contributing to society through the manufacture of automobiles” and made cars that satisfy its many customers around the world. TMC introduced the first-generation Prius hybrid vehicle in 1997. The company also plans to introduce EVs into the market by 2012.
On the other hand Tesla’s goal is to produce increasingly affordable electric cars for mainstream buyers -relentlessly driving down the cost of EVs. California-based Tesla designs and manufactures EVs and EV powertrain components, and is currently the only automaker in the U.S. that builds and sells highway-capable EVs in serial production.
Now TMC and Tesla will begin developing an electric version of the RAV4, well known as Toyota’s popular mid-size sport utility vehicle. According Elon Musk and Akio Toyoda the CEOs of Toyota and Tesla the two companies signed an agreement announced from May.
Electric Vehicle prototypes will be made combining the Toyota RAV4 model with a Tesla electric powertrain with the aim to market it in the United States in 2012. Tesla plans to produce and deliver a fleet of prototypes to Toyota for evaluation within this year. The first prototype has already been built and is now undergoing testing.
“Through this partnership, by working together with a venture business such as Tesla, Toyota would like to learn from the challenging spirit, quick decision-making, and flexibility that Tesla has,” Toyoda said in May press release from Toyota. “By partnering with Tesla, my hope is that all Toyota employees will recall that ‘venture business spirit,’ and take on the challenges of the future.”
Over the next year, Tesla will produce several models of the new car to be approved by Toyota, according to the most recent release. Toyota’s engineers are currently testing the first model. Toyota and Tesla are not the only motor companies that look forward to producing electric vehicles.
Honda plans to introduce an electric car, as well as a new plug-in hybrid system for its larger vehicles, Takanobu Ito, CEO of Honda Motor Company, announced in his mid-year CEO speech on Tuesday.