Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has revealed that the California based electric automaker could partner with Toyota for a major project in the next two to three years.
While speaking at a ceremony for the Tesla Model S in Japan, Musk revealed that the partnership is likely to spawn another project beyond the current 2014 Toyota Rav4 EV which includes Tesla batteries.
“I think that if you look out maybe two or three years from now, that I would not be surprised if there is a significant deal with Toyota. My best guess is that it would probably be something significant, maybe on a much higher volume level,” he said.
In addition to a possible new Toyota collaboration, Tesla recently confirmed that its long awaited lithium ion battery gigafactory will be created near Reno, Nevada.
In July, Tesla confirmed that it had teamed up with Panasonic for the gigafactory. It is being suggested that Panasonic will invest between $194 million and $291 million (20-30 billion yen) to supply the machinery for cell production. In the end through, the electronics firm could pay about $1 billion of the expected $5 billion construction costs.
While construction of the gigafactory gets under way, Panasonic is set to continue to provide batteries for Tesla. That means that the Tesla Model S as well as the upcoming Model X will utilise Panasonic supplied batteries in the future.
After this, it is hoped that the gigafactory will be fully functional from 2018 onwards with construction on the massive project likely to take place later this year. The gigafactory will double the world’s supply of lithium-ion batteries.
The entry-level Tesla Model 3 will be the first Tesla model to use batteries produced in the gigafactory and is a key reason behind the facility being created. Elon Musk believes the cost of batteries will drop by at least 30 per cent for the Model 3 which will allow the car to cost around $35,000 while having a 200 mile range.
[Via Auto News]