Tesla and Toyota Are Trying for a New Electric Baby

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes Telsa and Toyota with a baby carriage. Alright, so auto manufacturer relationships may not happen that way, but Telsa and Toyota might be revisiting their potential partnership to build a new electric vehicle. 

Tesla and Toyota might be partners 

According to Fox Business, Tesla and Toyota might be coming together to build a new electric vehicle platform. Their potential partnership has been under review since last year, but now they are revisiting their plans. 

An official from the Japanese automobile industry told a South Korean newspaper, Chosun Ilbo, that they are discussing the possibility of jointly developing a small electric SUV platform. This is slightly shocking news, as Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently mentioned separate plans to build a sleeker, more affordable electric car for his own fleet. 

A stainless steel Tesla Cybertruck on display
Tesla’s Cybertruck on display | Photo by Frederic J. Brown / AFP via Getty Images

If this partnership actually happens, Toyota will reportedly offer the vehicle platform, and Tesla will utilize its electronic control platform. As a result, the sales of Teslas in Japan are expected to increase. 

Combining Tesla’s unmatched engineering with Toyota’s reliability could result in a widely popular vehicle. If the vehicle features Tesla’s industry-leading software, then the vehicle will be even more enticing. 

According to Motor Authority, this isn’t the first time the two automakers have come together. Toyota was an early shareholder of Tesla but sold off its stake in 2016. In 2012, Toyota rolled out an electric RAV4 that used a Tesla powertrain. 

What’s new for Tesla? 

Aside from the possible Telsa and Toyota partnership, Elon is working on providing a cheaper electric vehicle. In September of 2020, Tesla announced it is working on new battery technology to enable the production of smaller, more affordable cars within the next three years. 

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The technology should enable the vehicles to travel much further distances on a single charge. Three years feels like a long time, but it would result in a new Tesla model that starts at about $25,000. That’s quite the discount compared to the Tesla Model 3, which starts at about $35,000. 

Tesla recently overtook Toyota as the world’s most valuable automaker. According to Auto Economic Times, shared os Tesla more than doubled since the beginning of 2020, providing a market capitalization of $207.2 billion, surpassing Toyota’s $201.9 billion. 

What’s new for Toyota? 

The idea of Tesla and Toyota coming together could be very beneficial for Toyota. It’s been dragging its feet when it comes to battery-electric vehicles. Toyota has been focusing on hybrids and hydrogen-electric vehicles instead. 

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime parked near a building
2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime | Toyota

But with the auto industry market barreling toward a future full of battery-electric vehicles, it’s time to catch up. Toyota has committed to launching at least ten battery-electric vehicles within the first half of this decade. The cars will include its luxury brand, Lexus. 

Their first battery-electric vehicle in the United States is expected to be a compact crossover SUV that’s based on a model from Subaru. According to The Verge, the vehicle may be called the X Prologue. We could see it as early as March 17th in Europe and is rumored to be about the size of the RAV4.