Business

Toyota Bets Big On Electric Carmaker Tesla

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The heads of Tesla Motors and Toyota have announced a partnership to develop and build electric cars at a recently shuttered auto plant in the San Francisco Bay area. Tesla has been scouting for a site to build its Model S, scheduled to go on sale in 2012.

LYNN NEARY, host:

NPR's business news starts with a new car alliance.

(Soundbite of music)

NEARY: Toyota is placing a big bet on the California electric car maker Tesla. The Japanese automaker announced it's taking a $50 million stake in the Silicon Valley start-up, which makes pricy electric sports cars. Toyota is known for its hybrids but hasn't said much about pure electric cars. Toyota's interest in Tesla started when CEO Akio Toyoda reportedly visited Tesla's chief executive and took a spin in one of his sports cars.

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