Tesla's promise to deliver a US$25,000 (AU$33,000) electric vehicle (EV) by 2022 may be possible, with reports the company is looking to partner with Toyota to fast-track development.
It's not the first time the two car makers have partnered. In 2012, the second-generation Toyota RAV4 EV was unveiled using batteries and an electric motor from Tesla.
While Toyota sold the last of its 3.15 per cent stake in Tesla in 2017 – an initial US$50 million investment that would now be worth US$20 billion – it's understood Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda and Tesla CEO Elon Musk have maintained a relationship in the years since.
Though details of the partnership have not been divulged, it's expected Toyota would provide the platform for a mass-produced, low-cost vehicle, with Tesla supplying the electric powertrain.
Toyota already has its fully-electric 'e-TNGA' architecture, set to debut on a number of EV models in the coming years, but the Japanese giant is keen to benefit from Tesla's "IT capabilities", the source has said.
In February 2021, the boss of Tesla's Chinese arm told media its local research and development centre would be responsible for the new bargain model. As Toyota has a presence in China through its partnership with BYD, it's possible the companies have chosen the country as a central hub to collaborate on the project.