Tesla and Toyota might just patch up their differences and form a new partnership some day, Elon Musk told reporters at an event for the start of deliveries in Japan (with a cool backdrop of three Model S in a showroom high above Tokyo).
“If you look out maybe two or three years from now, I would not be surprised if there was a significant deal with Toyota and Tesla,” said Musk. The two companies have no definite plans, but Musk envisions something on a larger scale than their recently-ended collaboration on the RAV4 EV.
While Musk said that Tesla has “a very good relationship with Toyota,” the two companies are certainly pursuing different visions. The Japanese giant seems to have lost interest in battery-electric vehicles after delivering only about 2,000 units of its RAV4 compliance car, and is now singing the praises of hydrogen fuel cells, which Musk (and others) have described as “fool cells.”
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Toyota has no comment on Musk’s remarks about a future partnership, spokesman Ryo Sakai told Bloomberg.
Any such project would have to wait a couple of years in any case, thanks to limited supplies of battery packs. For now, Tesla is moving full speed ahead on building the Gigafactory, and hoping that partner Panasonic can keep up. “We are probably pushing Panasonic faster than they would normally go,” Musk said. “I think it will turn out well for both companies. The speed at which Panasonic is making decisions is extremely impressive.”