Toyota, Tesla Team Up for Electric Cars

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Toyota is moving on, but will the American people choose to move with it?

Toyota (Stock Quote: TM) announced yesterday that it is partnering with Tesla Motors to innovate the electric car market. Tesla is the one company that has produced an all-electric car that is allowed to be driven on U.S. highways. Toyota has had huge success with its hybrid, the Prius first and foremost.

As Wired notes, “The partnership gives Toyota — which until now has shown little public interest in [electric vehicles] — access to proven EV technology and gives Tesla a crash course in engineering and building a mass-market car.”

There is no timeline yet for when Toyota might release an electric car, but Tesla is hoping to turn out a new model by 2012, and according to Wired, they plan to make use of an abandoned Toyota factory outside of San Francisco to accomplish that.

There is no doubt that part of Toyota’s incentive here is to begin changing its narrative from a company that is riddled with recalls to one that is on the forefront of new automotive technology. And last week, there was more good news for the company. Despite all the bad press during the past few months because of recalls, recent projections show that Toyota will likely earn a profit this year.

Of course, with a number of class-action lawsuits still pending, it will probably take more than an electric car to escape their problems.

Want more info on fuel-efficient cars? Read this story on a car that gets 11,000 miles to the gallon.

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