A crazy rumor from South Korea announces that a partnership between Tesla and Toyota would give birth to a new electric SUV.
According to the Korean daily Chosun Ilbo, the firm of Elon Musk negotiates with the n ° 1 of the automobile, Toyota. The Chosun Ilbo announces that its source is a “Responsible for Japanese industry”, unspecified.
Discussions would have started in 2020 and the partnership would have entered “In the final phase”. This consists of the supply of a Toyota platform for an electric SUV. This would receive the electronics and the Tesla on-board system. At this stage, there is no mention of the characteristics of this future vehicle. It is also unclear whether the deal holds on a vehicle sold under Toyota and / or Tesla.
In the past, in 2010, Tesla and Toyota have already worked together. The collaboration gave birth to a 100% electric RAV4. Marketed between 2012 and 2014, it took the platform of the Toyota model with a battery-engine assembly from Tesla. The Japanese automaker also had a $ 50 million stake in Tesla. It was sold in 2017… 10 times more expensive, thanks to the take-off of the action.
This rumor is as likely as it is unlikely. Explanations.
On the one hand, the information holds if we take into account the Tesla’s willingness to sell a car for $ 25,000. Although “Battery Day” brought a focus on cost reduction, the promise is hard to keep.
To do this, the union with Toyota is a godsend, and would reduce the development time for the 2023 deadline. Tesla would stick to designing its car based on Toyota, probably bringing inexpensive LFP cells. The Toyota’s lack of experience in terms of on-board systems and advanced functions related to the electric also match.
On the other side, this rumor is not tenable vis-à-vis the past and the ambitions of Tesla. Yes, Elon Musk’s firm has worked with Toyota before. At the time, it was a business opportunity for Tesla and a way for Toyota to quickly respond to the electricity quotas then imposed in California. But corporate culture is very different, very traditional for the Japanese, and atypical for the American. That ended the cooperation, CNN said. And in November 2020, CEO Akio Toyoda did not fail to criticize Tesla, likening the manufacturer to a restaurant without a real chef or functional kitchen.