Earlier on Friday, Toyota President Akio Toyoda told reporters in Japan Toyota was interested in experimenting with Tesla’s approach of using lithium-ion battery cells developed for the electronics industry as a potential alternative to developing batteries tailor-made for its own vehicles.
The project with Tesla is separate from a previously announced electric car Toyota plans to sell by 2012, Toyoda said. Toyota has said it’s working on a two-passenger “urban commuter” electric car that will likely have range of 50 miles or less per charge.
“Since our announcement in May, Toyota and Tesla engineering teams have made a lot of progress in a short amount of time, and it is exciting to start seeing some initial results,” JB Straubel, Tesla’s chief technology officer said in an e-mail message.
Tesla has signed an agreement to deliver two prototypes to Toyota by the end of July. Both prototypes are modified Toyota vehicles.[source: CNN via Pure Green Cars]