The partnership between the two started in 2010, and both companies agreed on comprehensive cooperation. The partnership also saw the Japanese Auto giant buy 3.15% share in Tesla for an astounding 50 million USD, as a mark of solidarity.
The result of the partnership was an electric SUV under the RAV4 banner that sold 2,500 units in California among other US based markets. However, that seemed like a flash in the pan venture for the two companies as their joint development slowed down almost entirely to a halt. Ending in Toyota selling their shares in Tesla in December last year. Sighting a review of destinations for investment as reasons.
Now Toyota has focused their green mobility solutions inwards, setting up an internal team from within the Toyota group to develop electric cars. However, Toyota has remained tight-lipped as to the exact proportions of the electric team or when we can expect to see a result of the development process.
However, it might be safe to speculate, that while the rest of the manufacturers have been focused on Li-ion battery based developments; Toyota has been focused on the development of fuel cells as its offering at the green mobility roundtable. The grass-roots of this tech has been showcased in the Toyota Mirai, who’s exhaust emits no more than water.
Fuel Cells might even be slightly better than the existing electric car format, considering that electric cars will require energy that will undoubtedly be sourced through Fossil Fuels and the fact that Lithium mining on a large scale will deplete the earth’s natural resources exponentially. Fuel Cells, however, work by combining Hydrogen and Oxygen in an electrochemical reaction which produces electricity. Which then can be used to power the electric vehicle.
The major infrastructural issue is the availability of fuel to power these cars. However, we have no doubts that Toyota will bring all of this into consideration while developing whatever they have in the pipeline.