Tesla: Toyota electric prototypes coming soon

By Peter Valdes-Dapena, senior writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Electric carmaker Tesla Motors will deliver two prototypes to Toyota Motor Co. by the end of the month, a Tesla executive said Saturday.

The prototypes will use Tesla's electric motors and battery packs and the bodies of Toyota vehicles.

tesla_roadster.03.jpg
Toyota is working with Tesla Motors, maker of the Roadster electric sports car, on a new electric vehicle.

"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," Tesla Chief Technology Officer JB Straubel said in a statement.

Toyota announced in May that it planned to invest $50 million in Tesla Motors (TSLA) following the electric car maker's initial public offering, which took place on June 29. Tesla's stock closed Friday at $17.40, down 21% over five days.

Toyota, which is already the industry leader in gas-electric hybrid cars, is also looking for other partners to develop future alternative fuel technologies. In fact, collaboration with other companies is expected to be a key part of Toyota's alternative fuel strategy.

Toyota executives have, in the past, expressed doubts about the market potential for purely electric cars. They have citing the vehicles' high cost, relatively short driving distance, long charging times and questionable battery technology.

Last year, Toyota (TM) revealed a concept version of a tiny electric "city car" with a 40 mile range. That car is under development, Toyota said at the time, and is intended primarily for short-term rental use within cities.

The Tesla project is separate from that one.

Toyota plans to introduce a plug-in version of the Toyota Prius hybrid car in 2011, but that vehicle would still use a gasoline engine as its primary power source. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Find Your Next Car
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,756.67 295.35 1.79%
Nasdaq 4,471.64 88.79 2.03%
S&P 500 1,960.24 33.13 1.72%
Treasuries 2.29 0.06 2.69%
Data as of 2:35pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Apple Inc 104.99 2.00 1.94%
Bank of America Corp... 16.72 0.32 1.92%
AT&T Inc 33.57 -0.93 -2.70%
Facebook Inc 80.50 2.13 2.72%
Microsoft Corp 45.33 0.95 2.14%
Data as of 2:20pm ET

Sections

Dunkin' Brands reported sluggish sales and warned that growth is going to remain slow. The coffee and breakfast wars are clearly having an impact on Dunkin' and other restaurants. More

Regulators are about to reveal the results of an extensive health check of Europe's top 130 banks, indicating which may need a cash infusion. More

Filmmakers are experimenting with virtual reality technology from companies like Oculus VR to create a new kind of cinematic experience. More

Startups focusing on "ag tech," or agricultural technology, are gaining the attention of farmers and investors More

Concern about the stock market has sent interest rate of 15-year mortgage to lowest level of the year. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.