Tesla batteries in Toyota cars: the ultmate green-car combo?

Toyota and Tesla are on opposite ends of the "green" car spectrum. Toyota's Prius is beloved and sensible, but a bit boring, while Tesla's Roadster is sexy, wildly expensive and practically impossible to obtain, even if you can afford it. What will happen when the two companies pair up?

Japanese newspapers today reported that Toyota will create a new vehicle prototype with Tesla Motors by the end of this year. Roadster lovers shouldn't get too worked up—the result almost certainly won't be a sports car—but the prospect of Tesla batteries in Toyotas could yield some exciting results anyway. Toyota executives told the Mainchi Daily News that using Tesla's battery technology may help lower costs for Toyota's electric vehicles.

And beyond this first prototype, the potential for an awesome but practical car is obvious. Of course, the opposite is also possible—Toyota could come up with a boring car that is also expensive, and just as elusive as Tesla's Model S sedan, which was announced in 2008, but won't hit dealerships until at least 2012.

Mainchi Daily News, via Inhabitat