A Toyota executive admitted that the Tesla Model Y is a “work of art” after this team conducted a teardown of the electric SUV.
For years we have been in disbelief about Toyota’s reluctance to invest heavily in all-electric vehicles.
The Japanese automaker was early in investing in hybrids with the Prius, but it has since not only been a laggard in developing battery-electric vehicles, it has even lobbied to slow down the deployment of electric vehicles and spread EV misinformation.
Recently, we have been encouraged by some new comments – especially since the transition to a new CEO.
As part of the renewed effort to invest in battery-electric vehicles, Toyota decided to do a teardown of the most popular electric vehicle in the world right now: the Tesla Model Y.
Some Toyota executives who participated in the teardown talked to Automotive News, and one of them called Tesla’s electric SUV a “work of art”:
Taking the skin off the Model Y, it was truly a work of art. It’s unbelievable.
The Japanese automaker appears to be particularly impressed with the simplicity of Tesla’s vehicle architecture and powertrain.
Despite making cars for almost a century, Toyota has been having issues with its recent shift to electric vehicles.
The bZ4x, Toyota’s first global all-electric car, had a major safety recall that has seriously delayed the program to a crawl for the next two years.
Now it is trying to learn from Tesla as it plans to build a new EV platform to launch new electric vehicles starting in 2026.
I have been saying it for five years now: All legacy automakers need to do to kick-start their own EV effort is learn from Tesla.
Tesla has shown an undeniable blueprint for successful EV programs. It makes no sense not to learn from it.
I am glad to see Toyota finally do it, but what is so frustrating is that Toyota used to own a large stake in Tesla and worked together on an EV program. The Japanese automaker could have learned so much there.
Instead, it only used Tesla for compliance with EV programs.
That’s why it is in this situation right now – years behind the competition when it comes to battery-electric vehicles. Can it catch up? Maybe, but I have doubts.