The electric carmaker Tesla Motors Inc and Toyota Motor Corp, the world’s largest auto company, could sign a new deal in two to three years, Tesla CEO Elon Musk says, as an existing program between the two companies is coming to an end.
Tesla has been supplying batteries and electric motors for Toyota’s RAV4 electric SUVs that went on sale in 2012, but the partnership is ending this year, with Toyota only selling 2,000 units of the model.
Musk said at a conference on Monday in Tokyo that “If you look at maybe two or three years from now, I would not be surprised if there is a significant deal with Toyota and Tesla. There are still possibilities in certain areas of their operations especially in North America where we may find common ground. It’s not like we have severed our ties.”
A Toyota executive also stated that there are no specific plans for the close future but that the two companies have not ended their relationship. In 2010, Tesla purchased the former NUMMI factory in California after Toyota closed the plant and currently manufactures the Model S there. In return, Toyota took a $50 million stake in Tesla.
By Gabriela Florea