Tesla called a press conference for today 5 p.m. Pacific this afternoon, but the big news may have already leaked. According to the Los Angeles Business journal, Tesla Motors and Toyota will announce a partnership to jointly build an electric car in California. “I would not say that it’s an accurate statement,” Jana Hartline, Toyota Environmental Communications Manager, told HybridCars.com.

Rumors spread based on comments that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger made during an appearance Thursday at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View today.

Hartline informed us that there will indeed be a partnership, but did not disclose more details. Khobi Brooklyn, a Tesla spokeswoman, also declined to elaborate. “We’re not commenting on or confirming anything the governor said,” Ms. Brooklyn said. “We’ll wait for our announcement later today.”

Stay tuned for a follow-up report on HybridCars.com immediately after the event.


Tesla Motors and Toyota Motor Corporation Intend to Work Jointly on EV Development, TMC to Invest in Tesla

May 20, 2010 – Palo Alto, California, U.S.A. — Tesla Motors, Inc. (Tesla) and Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) today announced that they intend to cooperate on the development of electric vehicles, parts, and production system and engineering support.

The two companies intend to form a team of specialists to further those efforts. TMC has agreed to purchase $50 million of Tesla’s common stock issued in a private placement to close immediately subsequent to the closing of Tesla’s currently planned initial public offering.

“I sensed the great potential of Tesla’s technology and was impressed by its dedication to monozukuri (Toyota’s approach to manufacturing),” said TMC President Akio Toyoda. “Through this partnership, by working together with a venture business such as Tesla, Toyota would like to learn from the challenging spirit, quick decision-making, and flexibility that Tesla has. Decades ago, Toyota was also born as a venture business. By partnering with Tesla, my hope is that all Toyota employees will recall that ‘venture business spirit,’ and take on the challenges of the future.”

“Toyota is a company founded on innovation, quality, and commitment to sustainable mobility. It is an honor and a powerful endorsement of our technology that Toyota would choose to invest in and partner with Tesla,” said Tesla CEO and cofounder Elon Musk. “We look forward to learning and benefiting from Toyota’s legendary engineering, manufacturing, and production expertise.”