Toyota, the world’s largest automotive company is teaming up with Tesla Motors to manufacture a fully electric Sedan. The Tesla Model S sedan in scheduled to launch in 2012.
The Model S is a high performance electric sedan that will compete with cars like the BMW 5-series. The 4 door, 7 seat sedan is powered by an electric 70 kW battery, it accelerates from 0-60 in 5.6 seconds, has a top speed of 120 mph, and a range of 300 miles. Batteries can be quick-charged in 45 minutes. Two additional rear-facing seats in the cargo area give the car its seven seat capacity.
The Model S has a high-tech cockpit with two LCD screens, including a touchscreen panel in the center console. Prototypes of the Model S have sophisticated on-board computer systems with peripheral hardware. Their 17” touch-screen control panel includes HD radio integration, quick GPS navigation, streaming audio and other Internet and cloud-based data and information.
Tesla Motors reported a net loss of $38.5 million in the second quarter of 2010, compared with a loss of $10.8 million in the second quarter of 2009. The company said revenue climbed 5 percent from a year ago, to $28.4 million. Losses were attributed to higher research and development costs associated with the engineering of the Model S.
Tesla went public to raise funds with its IPO in late June. Tesla’s IPO raised more than $200 million. The company has said it does not expect to be profitable before mid 2012, when its Model S sedan is slated to reach production. Tesla expects to build about 20,000 units a year when full production is reached after 2012.
The collaboration between Toyota and Tesla is the type of partnership that is driving the greener vehicle market and benefiting all parties. Toyota will benefit from the buzz around Tesla, and this will help the Japanese carmaker to recapture some of the credibility that it lost during its recent wave of recalls. Tesla will benefit from Toyota’s $50 million investment and from Toyota’s engineering and production systems. The public will benefit from a high performance sedan that has zero emissions.
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