Tesla And Toyota And A Billion Dollars

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The plot thickens, as they used to say in the film noir days. There have been rumors and innuendos and the fluttering of little birds about Toyota (worlds biggest car company until Japan got drilled by an earthquake and then a tsunami and then a quadruple reactor melt-down) wanting to do something (be more than friends?) with Tesla, manufactures of the only all-electric sportscar out there.

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And let me just fire this preemptive shot before any of you out there get your anti-EV hackles up: Shut up you stupes! Shut up and drive a Tesla. Seriously. These things are very, very quick. And they have more than enough range for your daily driving. Sure, they go into the six figures new (although the used prices are down in Porsche territory (i.e. around 70 – 80 K)). But it’s hard to fault them on anything other than price.

And now comes word that Toyota and Tesla might be up to something, and the bottom line (literally) is a billion dollars. The two companies have been flirting with some sort of deal making, initially a $60-million deal that then ballooned into a $100-million affair and now reports of the deal reaching the billion-dollar level.

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According to Tesla’s ebullient CEO Elon Musk, the electric car company is currently in talks with the Japanese auto giant to sign a deal that would see $1 billion landing in the California car company’s coffers. The benefits for Tesla are obvious. The EV car company’s concerns about capital would hastily vanish, and, thanks to this serious cash cocktail, Tesla could quickly become a major player in the automotive industry.

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And what would Toyota get out of the deal?

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For one thing they would get access to the off the shelf technology that Tesla would bring to the table. Tesla’s batteries are known to be the best in the EV world, and their motors are also ultra-trick, boasting of proprietary winding techniques. But Toyota would get more than that.

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If this deal were to hasted along the building of the Tesla Model S sedan (which it most likely would) it could possibly mean that Toyota could use at least the platform (of not an outright rebadging) and come out with their own 100% EV in next to no time. Take that, Nissan Leaf.

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It has been common parlance in the gearhead world that Toyota has been smarting at the hands of Nissan’s Leaf all electric car, and Nissan has not been shy about rubbing handfuls of salt into Toyota’s wounds. Nissan never seems to not mention that the Leaf is the first mass market EV in the world.

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Entering into some kind of partnership with Tesla would allow Toyota to not only get their “own” EV out on the road, but it would also allow them to one-up Nissan in the tech department by touting all the proprietary goodness that Tesla brings to the party.

Of course, it would be the coolest of the cool if Toyota could bring out its own version of Tesla’s Roadster for about 30% of the price. Because then I could almost afford to buy one of the things. Almost.

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Source: Autoblog

  1. Did you wonder if there was an effort out to control the electric car industry. Well, let’s name the names:
    The Solyndra case proves that the DOE LOAN and ATVM funding was based on pure bribery and lobby manipulation. All of the failure points on Solyndra have been visible for ages so they would not have gotten the money if “real due diligence” had been performed instead of giving the money away to hard-wired campaign contributors. Kleiner Perkins put Chu in office as Secratary in order to get favored nations funding for their portfolio companies and keep competitors to those portfolio companies from getting funded. Steve Westly and Kholsa helped them along with Raj Gupta.

    The Detroit News writes that Detroit & Telsa recipients used the money to pay bonuses to staff and other uses, have parties and other uses not intended for the funds. How the *H* did a Japanese company get U.S. taxpayer dollars from the DOE?

    The DOE ATVM And Loan Gaurantee programs were conducted by criminals in order to commit crimes. The “Car Czar” Steve Rattner (Now a proven criminal by the State of NY), Lachland Seward, Matt Rogers and his partner Steve Spinner and most of Tesla’s friends at McKinsey Consulting from Silicon Valley (Who used Tax payer jets to fly back and forth to Silicon Valley to go bike riding), Steve Westley and a group who now left DOE, and some who are still there are criminals. They stole your tax money and put in in their friends pockets. Federal investigations have already shown that Detroit embezzeled and misspent the first monies distributed. Every company that has so far gotten money has misspent it, did not have what they said they had at the time they applied, were tied to campaign contributions and rated lowest on the comparison reviews. If you google: “Unprofessional behavior plagues SRS” to read about the death threats, you can see the depths to which some of these people will sink. See the recent mass exodus from DOE of key staff in the last 9 months: They took the money and ran.

    The few applicants that did get money spent tens of millions of dollars on bribes and lobby “incentives” equal in ratio to the money they got. Now the White House says that $17B of the taxpayer money that Detroit got is a write-off and is lost forever. In other words Detroit has already embezzeled more money than all of the other applicants applied for put together.

    Google Tesla’s Siry on “DOE stifles innovation” to read what one of the highest level staff at one of the car companies said.

    The GAO, a federal crime busting agency, just released public reports saying that the DOE Loan programs were corrupt. All of the people under Seward were “connected” or “made men” in the Detroit cadre. Seward changed the section 136 first-come-first serve rule (Which appears to be illegal) in order to provide advantages to his friends in Detroit who didnt bother to apply in time and to cut out the smaller players who were already ahead in the application proces

    Subpeonas of Detroit and DOE Loan Departments will prove crime, corruption, favoritism and rigged contracts were the rule and not the exception. BTW: Revenge of the Electric car is a paid product placement film. It is not a real documentary.

  2. If Toyota can extend the mileage of their EV (more than what the Leaf is current offering at around 100mph) and make it affordable at the same time, they have the potential to own the market. I think key points are range (many people have long commutes) and price.

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