GAME OVER! Tesla's INSANE NEW Partnership With Toyota

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Toyota and Tesla are the latest auto makers to be linked together. While they appear to be radically different in their DNAs, we are told a partnership could be in the works between the two companies.
What is the partnership about?
Nothing has been confirmed yet but Korean reporter Choi Won-seok claims talks between Toyota and Tesla are approaching final stages. In the rumored partnership, the two auto giants will work together to develop an electric platform for a small SUV.
Toyota is expected to do all the hardware work on the vehicle platform, while Tesla will supply the electronic control platform software that will run the platform.
Why are we taking this report seriously?
Choi Won-seok reported the news in Korean newspaper Ghosun Libo. He claims to have sources from somebody in the know in the Japanese auto industry. The reporter has a reputation for having a nose for news. Besides, Ghosun Libo is the most distributed newspaper in Japan.
Also, at face value, the parts each party is reported playing play to their strengths individually. Toyota is well regarded for its cars that are easy to maintain and very safe to use while Tesla’s software and tech gadgetry design chops is the talk of the town.
Difference between the two companies
Two companies within the same industry can’t be further apart than Toyota and Tesla though. Toyota is a legacy automaker attempting to break into the EV segment. Toyota is not even willingly switching to EVs, as claimed by some industry observer. The Japanese giant’s hand was forced, which could be seen in its late response to the EV revolution, despite being an early player in the e-mobility segment.
That in part could be put down to the feelings of the top brass at Toyota towards EVs. The CEO of Toyota, Akio Toyoda is on record as claiming electric vehicles are overhyped because they still get their batteries charged from power plants that release emissions. Another executive revealed that a conscious decision was made to channel all battery resources towards hybrids. The result was Toyota doubled down on hybrids and hydrogen fueled vehicles, at the expense of purely electric models.
Tesla on the other hand is the poster boy for EVs, particularly BEVs. The company has always had the vision to get all non-electric vehicles off the road.
Another fundamental difference is in the MOs of these two companies. Toyota’s business model is to introduce new concepts and features gradually and improve on them. It may result in a slower pace of progress but it encourages clarity in product roadmap.
Tesla on the other hand is the type of company to push the boundaries of what is possible. Their cars are crammed with the latest tech like cameras and sensors. Tesla is the company that will use your weight and height to determine precisely how airbags should deploy during a crash. Tesla is also at the forefront of autonomous driving, sometimes pitching it against regulatory authorities.
So despite operating in the same industry, a partnership between Toyota and Tesla comes as a bit of a surprise to most industry observers.
Link between the companies
The two companies however have been able to put their differences aside and work together in the past.
Toyota was actually one of the first investors in Tesla but has since sold off all its Tesla shares. Tesla also supplied the powertrain for Toyota’s RAV4 in 2012. The partnership ended in 2014. Apparently, the personal relationship between the two CEOs survived unscathed so that the partnership could be resumed at any time.
What it means for Toyota
Frankly speaking, Toyota has a lot of catching up to do when it comes to purely electric vehicles. After having squandered the lead it got from releasing the iconic Prius hybrid, it is now reading the handwriting on the wall and deciphered that BEVs are the future of mobility.
It may not be too late for a company the size of Toyota but it certainly needs all the help it can get. With this joint venture with Tesla, Toyota can cut down the resources and time required to amass the experience needed to compete on the tech front. Toyota’s ECU and OS simply do not stand a chance against what Tesla offers.
What we do not know however is how this rumored partnership is going to affect Toyota’s overall EV strategy. Toyota has recently announced it is turning on the fire hose, promising more than 70 new models that will be free of hydrocarbon based fuels, before 2025. Fifteen of these are slated to be purely electric.
We even have info about the branding of the EVs. Toyota is using the ‘BZ’ name, meaning Beyond Zero, referring to the fact that there will be no carbon emissions. The first model, the BZ4X, has been revealed at the Shanghai Auto Show and we know to expect it this year in Japan and China and globally in 2022.

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