AutoblogGreen had the rare opportunity on Friday to chat with Toyota CEO and president Akio Toyoda where he revealed a prototype vehicle with a Tesla electric drive unit was under construction. Tesla CTO JB Straubel has now told CNN Money that the Silicon valley company is preparing two mule vehicles for Toyota. Tesla battery packs, power electronnics and motors are being installed into Toyota bodies.
Straubel expects to deliver the vehicles to Toyota by the end of July. Toyota officials have told ABG that the initial plan is to just test the performance and durability of the Tesla packs to determine if they will meet Toyota standards. If Toyota proceeds with a production program using a Tesla-style battery (using small laptop type cells) it will be for a new vehicle, not the iQ-based EV arriving in 2012.
[Source: CNN Money]