Toyota, the world's largest car maker has acquired a $50-million stake in Silicon Valley-based electric car maker Tesla Motors and jointly co-operate in developing electric vehicles (EV).
Under the deal, Tesla will build its electric car, the Model S sedan, and future vehicles in a recently purchased plant in Fremont, California from New United Motor Manufacturing (NUMMI), a joint venture between General Motors and Toyota.
Till last month, the NUMMI factory was used by Toyota to produce the Corolla and Tacoma vehicles using the industry-leading Toyota production system. It is one of the largest, most advanced and cleanest automotive production plants in the world.
The Model S is expected to be the first pure electric premium sedan and is designed from the ground up to take full advantage of the electric vehicle architecture.
The sedan, which Tesla unveiled in March 2009, has an anticipated base price of $49,900, including a federal tax credit, and has an optional extended-range battery pack that runs over 300 miles per charge.
"I've felt an infinite possibility about Tesla's technology and its dedication to monozukuri (Toyota's approach to manufacturing)," said TMC president Akio Toyoda.