• Jul 11, 2010
AutoblogGreen had the rare opportunity on Friday to chat with Toyota CEO and president Akio Toyoda. During the conversation, he revealed that a prototype vehicle with a Tesla electric drive unit was under construction. Tesla's Chief Technology Officer, J.B. Straubel, has confirmed this to CNN Money, saying that the Silicon Valley company is indeed preparing two mule vehicles for Toyota. Tesla battery packs, power electronics and motors are being installed into Toyota bodies.

Straubel expects to deliver the vehicles to Toyota by the end of of this month. Toyota officials told ABG that the initial plan is to just test the performance and durability of the Tesla packs to determine whether they meet Toyota standards. If Toyota proceeds with a production program using a Tesla-style battery (employing small laptop-type cells) it will be for a new vehicle, not the iQ-based EV arriving in 2012.

[Source: CNN Money]


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  • 14 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      There are other companies using Tesla's pack, BMW and Diamler for one.. must be something good about it ;)

      I'll take an electric Toyota.. better have a damn brake override though!!!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Any word one what Toyota bodies are being transplanted? Hopefully a new mr2 :P!
      • 4 Years Ago
      lol Toyota standards, what a joke...Toyota standards ain't too high now of days..Telsa should be able to bring them mule on fire and that would meet withToyota standards, lol

      Toyota standards = JUNK
        • 4 Years Ago
        Thank you for your dime-store opinion based purely on the negative media they are currently getting. If the news wasn't all over Toyota like flies on crap....you wouldn't be saying they are junk. Unless of course you are one the typical redneck posters Autoblog fondly caters to.

        Just for your own sake I'm not a fan of Toyota, but I don't blast them as junk. EVERY car company has had some serious recalls some time or another.
      • 4 Years Ago
      yea, All we need is the equivalent of a mobile Geek Squad a few central service centers to keep new customers happy with minor problems. For major problems, exchange the vehicle and send it out for reconditioning.
      To maintain resell value the electric cars need to be easy to service. Motor bad? Change it out in a few hours and buy the motor from Toyota! That thinking will create downstream revenue of parts and maintai
      • 4 Years Ago
      Local Tesla Motors dealership (Menlo Park) has had a white Prius in the lot, off and on for months. Always thought it was the mule for their "Sedan" but haven't seen it recently. Maybe they sold Toyota a "used" mule.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Toyota marriage makes perfect sense to me.

      For Tesla
      It brings all the design, manufacturing capabilities, and suppliers to build the body & suspension. This was the vaporware at Tesla unless they only became only a drivetrain and controls provider.

      For Toyota
      With Telsa they have the opportunity to develop a completely different marketing system and eliminate the dealers. (capture that dealer mark-up and be able to control the customer experience) Toyota is already an appliance, with electric drive it could become a maintenance free appliance! All you need is the equivalent of a mobile Geek Squad a few central service centers to keep new customers happy with minor problems. For major problems, exchange the vehicle and send it out for reconditioning. For parts, service, used cars, and repairs you can license qualified service centers. Toyota makes no money here anyway. Toyota makes money on NEW cars and parts.
      To maintain resell value the electric cars need to be easy to service. Motor bad? Change it out in a few hours and buy the motor from Toyota! That thinking will create downstream revenue of parts and maintain resell value.


      • 4 Years Ago
      Toyota-Tesla partnership has a forward-thinking ring to it, but also sounds experimental. I'm iffy.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "Report: Tesla CTO confirms building two mules for Toyota"?

      More like:

      "Report: Tesla now Toyota's bitch"
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