Tesla and Toyota are rumored to be partnering on a new electric SUV, but it is based on a report that doesn’t have a lot of credibility.
We weren’t planning to share this report, but several other publications are sharing it seriously, so we thought we would cover it with some more context.
The report is coming from Korean reporter Choi Won-seok.
He based the report on a single unnamed “Japanese automobile industry” source (translated from Korean):
“It is reported that Tesla and Toyota have reviewed the partnership since last year and are approaching the final stage. According to an official from the Japanese automobile industry on the 28th , Tesla and Toyota are considering jointly developing a small electric SUV platform (the car’s basic skeleton). The partnership review has been conducted since last year. Toyota provides the vehicle platform to Tesla, and instead, Tesla provides some of the electronic control platform and software technology onboard its vehicle to Toyota.”
Tesla and Toyota used to have a partnership that consisted of the latter having a stake in the latter and Tesla supplying powertrains for the Rav4.
But that was part of Toyota’s attempt to comply with CARB requirements in California.
The partnership ended in 2014, and in 2017, Toyota sold its last shares in Tesla.
I am not sure why so many publications are taking this report seriously. It appears extremely weak in my view.
It’s not impossible, but this is a big claim, and big claims need big proof.
I don’t think a single unnamed source from a single reporter in Korea amounts to any significant proof.
It also would be weird for Tesla to have Toyota supply the EV platform in a joint development of a new vehicle since it would be the exact opposite of their previous collaboration.
With that said, Tesla has indicated in the past that it would be open to license its software.
In short, it’s not impossible, but I wouldn’t take this report for anything more than a weak rumor for now.
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