Tesla and Toyota are reportedly in partnership talks to produce electric SUV
California-based electric vehicle (EV) pioneer Tesla Motors and Japanese automobile giant Toyota Motor Corporation are in talks to create partnership for a new electric sports utility vehicle (SUV), according to some emerging media reports.
A growing number of media outlets have published reports related to Tesla and Toyota’s potential partnership on developing an efficient, zero-emissions SUV. According to the reports, which are based on a single anonymous Japanese automobile industry source, the two companies have been in talks since 2020 and now they are approaching the final stage.
If the two companies agree to work together, Toyota will be responsible for providing the vehicle platform for the electric SUV, while Tesla will play its role by providing electronic control platform and software technologies.
Korean reporter Choi Won-seok reported, “According to an official from the Japanese automobile industry on the 28th, Tesla and Toyota are considering jointly developing a small electric SUV platform. The partnership review has been conducted since last year. Toyota provides the vehicle platform to Tesla, and instead, Tesla provides some of the electronic control platform and software technology onboard its vehicle to Toyota.”
However, the reports claiming a new partnership between the two companies should be taken with a pinch of salt as they are on an unnamed source that does not have a lot of credibility.
Moreover, Tesla is a producer of all-electric vehicles. On the other hand, Toyota is not at a big fan of electrification. Toyota President & CEO Akio Toyoda has repeatedly warned that the current business model of the car industry will collapse if the automakers are forced to make a quick shift from conventional internal combustion engines (ICEs) to EVs. It may be noted here that governments around the globe are pushing automakers for EV transition.
If Tesla and Toyota really sign a partnership deal, it would not be the first time for the two auto giants to come together. The American and Japanese automakers previously used to have a partnership, under which the Palo Alto, California-based EV pioneer supplies powertrains for the Rav4 compact crossover SUV. However, that partnership was part of the Japanese automaker’s attempt to abide by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) requirements in the US. The partnership came to its end in 2014, and the Japanese auto giant sold its last shares in the American company in 2017.