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Tesla and Toyota Will Partner on EVs, Re-Opening NUMMI Plant

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  • Felix Kramer
    We usually focus on news about plug-in hybrids, while of course celebrating all advances for electrifying transportation, but this is very big news . The
    Message 1 of 1 , May 20 7:35 PM
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      We usually focus on news about plug-in hybrids, while of course
      celebrating all advances for electrifying transportation, but this is
      very big news . The recently closed Fremont, CA factory was
      established as the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. joint venture
      between GM-Toyota. Its re-opening to build
      Tesla's second-generation, seven-passenger all-electric sean is a
      development to celebrate. Its implications extend to the future
      directions of Toyota and to the position of California as a cleantech leader.

      (Shortly after it goes out on email, this posting will also be
      viewable at http://www.calcars.org/news-archive.html -- there you can
      add CalCars-News to your RSS feed.)

      Toyota's partnership with start-up Tesla can help pull Toyota rapidly
      forward and give it the opportunity to regain some lost momentum.
      Until now its only steps beyond conventional hybrids have to test a
      few hundred 13-mile range Plug In Priuses and indicate its intentions
      some day to sell PHEVs and EVs. And it will help Tesla (which had
      previously received a $50M investment from Daimler, 40% of which was
      then sold to an Abu Dhabi investment group), bring to market more
      rapidly upscale, highly reliable, quality products.

      We salute UC Berkeley Prof. Harley Shaiken and State Treasurer Bill
      Lokyer for their Blue Ribbon Commission that made the case for
      converting the NUMMI factory to build HEVs and PHEVs -- see the White
      Paper at http://www.irle.berkeley.edu/press/20100310_nummi.html .
      Still to be determined are how many of the skilled (and unionized)
      NUMMI employees will be rehired, and how quickly. And having visited
      the giant NUMMI plant and met with UAW members and officers
      http://www.calcars.org/photos-people.html#JC , we would love in the
      future to be involved in efforts to use part of the facility to
      retrofit older Toyota vehicles into PHEVs and EVs.

      The LA Times has an in-depth story at
      http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-auto-20100521,0,4035370.story ,
      reviewing activity in California from Coda, Fisker and other
      startups, positioning "California as a center of independent electric
      automobile research, design and production, an industry that some
      economists say could become an important driver of economic and
      development and jobs in the state."

      This development can also serve as a powerful rebuttal to the
      efforts, spearheaded by two Texas oil companies Valero and Tesoro, to
      halt California's Global Warming Solutions Act (AB32), even before it
      goes into effect next year. They claim it's bad for jobs -- and here
      we have a high-profile example of "Green Jobs in the Clean Economy."
      The oil companies expect to spend over $50 million to derail the
      California program and thereby slow any progress for national
      legislation on climate change or clean energy. So it's not just a
      local California issue.We encourage you to learn more and get
      involved. The coalition of defenders of AB32 have established
      http://www.stopdirtyenergyprop.com as the starting point for the
      campaign to defeat the oil companies' proposition.

      THE GOVERNOR'S COMMENTS: Here's an excerpt from his press release
      http://gov.ca.gov/press-release/15219 :

      Gov. Schwarzenegger Joins Tesla and Toyota Officials to Announce
      Historic Toyota-Tesla Partnership and Tesla's Acquisition of NUMMI Facility
      Toyota to Invest $50 Million in Tesla and Partner to Manufacture
      Electric Vehicles, Create Over 1,000 Green Jobs

      Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today joined President and Chief
      Executive Officer of Toyota Motor Corporation Akio Toyoda, Co-Founder
      and Chief Executive Officer of Tesla Motors Elon Musk and Lieutenant
      Governor Abel Maldonado to announce an historic new partnership
      between the automotive companies that will benefit California's
      economy and environment. Toyota announced it will invest $50 million
      in Tesla Motors and will partner with Tesla to manufacture electric
      vehicles (EVs). Additionally, Tesla announced that it will acquire
      the NUMMI plant in Fremont and begin production of its Model S EV in
      2012. Today's action could create more than 1,000 green jobs in California.

      "What we are witnessing today is an historic example of California's
      transition to a cleaner, greener and more prosperous future. We
      challenged auto companies to innovate, and both Tesla and Toyota
      stepped up in a big way, not only creating vehicles that reduce
      emissions and appeal to consumers but also boosting economic growth,"
      said Governor Schwarzenegger. "Tesla, just a start-up company a few
      years ago, will soon employ Californians in green jobs on a large
      scale at the former NUMMI plant. In fact, Tesla's founding and
      expansion in California is a direct result of our nation-leading
      policies that support demand for green products and the companies and
      people who produce them. I am thrilled with today's announcement and
      can't wait to see what this partnership brings next."

      http://www.teslamotors.com/media/press_room.php?id=2509 and

      Tesla Motors and Toyota Motor Corporation Intend to Work Jointly on
      EV Development, TMC to Invest in Tesla

      announced that they intend to cooperate on the development of
      electric vehicles, parts, and production system and engineering support.

      The two companies intend to form a specialist team to further those
      efforts. TMC has agreed to purchase $50 million of Tesla's common
      stock issued in a private placement to close immediately subsequent
      to the closing of Tesla's currently planned initial public offering.

      "I've felt an infinite possibility about Tesla's technology and its
      dedication to monozukuri (Toyota's approach to manufacturing)," said
      TMC President Akio Toyoda. "Through this partnership, by working
      together with a venture business such as Tesla, Toyota would like to
      learn from the challenging spirit, quick decision-making, and
      flexibility that Tesla has. Decades ago, Toyota was also born as a
      venture business. By partnering with Tesla, my hope is that all
      Toyota employees will recall that 'venture business spirit,' and take
      on the challenges of the future."

      "Toyota is a company founded on innovation, quality, and commitment
      to sustainable mobility. It is an honor and a powerful endorsement of
      our technology that Toyota would choose to invest in and partner with
      Tesla," said Tesla CEO and cofounder Elon Musk. "We look forward to
      learning and benefiting from Toyota's legendary engineering,
      manufacturing, and production expertise."

      TMC has, since its foundation in 1937, operated under the philosophy
      of "contributing to the society through the manufacture of
      automobiles," and made cars that satisfy its many customers around
      the world. TMC introduced the first-generation Prius hybrid vehicle
      in 1997, and produced approximately 2.5 million hybrids in the twelve
      years since. Late last year, TMC started lease of Prius Plug-in
      Hybrids, which can be charged using an external power source such as
      a household electric outlet. The company also plans to introduce EVs
      into the market by 2012.

      Tesla's goal is to produce increasingly affordable electric cars to
      mainstream buyers -- relentlessly driving down the cost of EVs. Palo
      Alto, CA-based Tesla has delivered more than 1000 Roadsters to
      customers in North America, Europe and Asia. Tesla designs and
      manufactures EVs and EV powertrain components. It is currently the
      only automaker in the U.S. that builds and sells highway-capable EVs
      in serial production. The Tesla Roadster accelerates faster than most
      sports cars yet produces no emissions. Tesla service rangers make
      house calls to service Roadsters.

      -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
      Felix Kramer fkramer@...
      Founder California Cars Initiative
      -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
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