I was fortunate enough to sit down recently with Tesla CEO Elon Musk for a long and wide-ranging interview. You can find the first video here. And here's part two:
Musk is currently in Tokyo, where he presented Toyota President Akio Toyoda with a bright red Roadster with special paint. Toyota and Tesla are collaborating, and the first results of that — a prototype electric version of the RAV4 — will be on display at the Los Angeles Auto Show beginning next week. I'll be there, and will welcome a chance to see Tesla's handiwork up close.
Tesla is primarily a carmaker, of course, but it may find that the road to profitability is in supplying its superior battery technology to other companies. In this interview segment, Musk talks about partnerships with other companies and a lot more. His company is allied with Daimler and Toyota, and Musk doesn't rule out a third automaker collaboration.
Meanwhile, Tesla's relationship with battery supplier Panasonic is deepening, with a $30 million investment. Panasonic's goal is to become Tesla's "preferred supplier." I was in Tokyo myself recently and met with Naoto Noguchi, the president of Panasonic's Energy Company. Like Toyoda, he was enthusiastic about his meeting with Musk, and you can see that here. Whether that meeting helped spur the $30 million remains to be seen.
Related on MNN: Tesla's Elon Musk on the video record, part one
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