Toyota and Tesla team to top electric car market

A Tesla coil in operation

Tesla Motors cars aren't powered by a Tesla coil, but the late physicist would probably love them anyway. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

It was announced last week that Toyota would be purchasing a large stake in Tesla Motors, the electric car manufacturing firm. Tesla specializes in high-end, all-electric roadsters, including an electric sports car capable of doing more than 100 miles per hour.  Its flagship model, the Tesla Roadster, is capable of going from 0 to 60 in less than four seconds, which is a considerable feat for any car.  The company had experienced lagging revenues, and the deal was announced ahead of an Initial Public Offering to boost revenue.

The Toyota Tesla deal

Toyota is already one of the leaders in the field of hybrid cars, as the Toyota Prius retains the top spot for hybrid sales. Boutique electric car company Tesla Motors announced an IPO was forthcoming as it needed to raise capital, and Toyota has thus far pledged $50 million. According to the New York Times, Tesla Motors had suffered losses of more than $56 million in 2009, and it filed for an Initial Public Offering of stock to boost capital.  The Tesla Roadster starts at about $109,000, so auto loans for the car are considerable.

The flagship Tesla Roadster

The claim to fame for Tesla Motors is the Tesla Roadster, the fastest production electric or hybrid car.  The basic model is capable of going from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3.9 seconds. The slightly faster Tesla Roadster Sport is capable of the 0 to 60 miles per hour feat in 3.7 seconds, but costs about $20,000 more.  Granted, that is not exactly a time for the record books, but it is as far as hybrid and electric cars are concerned.  (For the record, the fastest domestic stock production car from a major manufacturer is the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1.)

This is good

This is an excellent move for Toyota, and for Tesla.  Tesla is a green manufacturer, already producing an eco-friendly sports car, and soon the company will start manufacturing the Tesla Model S, a family sedan that will retail for less than $60,000.  Part of the Toyota venture is allowing the Model S will be manufactured at the NUMMI manufacturing facility, which was recently closed.  It appears a Tesla of any sort creates sparks wherever it goes.

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