無料TOEIC レッスン Lesson 28 : TESLA Motors and TOYOTA
テスラモーターズ（Tesla Motors, Inc. ）は、アメリカ合衆国のシリコンバレーを拠点に電池自動車、及び電気自動車関連商品の開発、製造、販売を行っている自動車会社で、2008年に販売されたテスラモーターズの最初の生産車両「ロードスター（Roadster）」はリアドライブ・スポーツカー仕様の電気自動車。
発売から人気は高く98,000ドル（約1,000万円）の高値にもかかわらず、最初のロードスター「Signature One Hundred」は3週間足らずで完売。高性能であるだけでなく燃費もトヨタ・プリウスの2倍優れているといいます。
Lesson 28: TESLA Motors and TOYOTA / VIDEO Script
Al, you’ve heard of Tesla Motors right?
Yeah, sure, they’re the start-up company who developed and sold a terrific but very expensive electric roadster. Oh, I heard that they had an IPO at the end of June and saw their stock go up about 40% on the first day of trading.
Yes, they did, but did you know that in May Toyota agreed invest $50 million and partner with them to develop and manufacture a new electric sedan at what was previously the joint venture GM/Toyota factory in the San Francisco area?
No, I have to admit that I didn’t hear about that before Tesla went public in late June, but the Tesla roadster is truly innovative, stylish and fast. If the new Model S sedan can be made and sold at a reasonable price, the Tesla-Toyota tie-up might be a success.
I have seen pictures of the new sedan on the Tesla site and it looks fast just standing still! You know Al, I think the key to success in this new electric car business is the battery and drive train technology and I think the innovation Tesla has introduced is what impressed Toyota.
No, doubt John, to make their lithium battery Tesla strung together 6,831 cylindrical cells that are typically used for notebook PCs. By using something which is nearly a commodity instead of developing a completely new battery with special cells, they kept the cost down.
Yeah, but Toyota was quoted in a Business Week magazine article on July 15th as saying that the Tesla battery with all its connections should fail but it doesn’t, so they want to use it and the Tesla drive train in a RAV4 car to test it rigorously and find out why it doesn’t fail.
I see. To Toyota who has over $43 billion in cash reserves, $50 million is just a small venture capital investment. If they fail to get much in return, they won’t be out much and if they learn something valuable, it will have been well worth it.
Yeah Al, no sweat for Toyota but Tesla also needs to try hard to learn from Toyota!
Well, GM obviously didn’t learn enough so I hope Tesla will do a lot better.
I hope so too!
- What did Al mention Tesla had done at the end of June?
- He said Tesla had bought a Toyota plant.
- He mentioned that they had had an initial public offering and their stock had risen about 40% on the first day of trading.
- He said that Tesla had cancelled their plan to have an IPO and decided to keep 40% of their stock.
- He said that Tesla had introduced an electric roadster and sold the design to Toyota.
- What did John say about Toyota and their old factory in the San Francisco area?
- That Toyota had agreed to partner with Tesla by making a $50 million investment and working with them to develop and manufacture a new Sedan in the old GM/Toyota factory there.
- That Toyota wanted to buy the Tesla battery and drive train and produce it for Toyota cars in the old GM/Toyota factory there.
- That Toyota had extra money to invest and also wanted to get Tesla to buy the old factory in the San Francisco area.
- That Toyota wanted to buy the Tesla roadster and produce it at the old GM/Toyota factory in the San Francisco area.
- What did John say he thought was the key to success in the electric car business?
- The key to success is to find a good partner who is innovative and hungry to team up with a large automaker.
- The key to success is the weight of the battery pack and the development of a good drive train.
- The key to success is the battery and drive train technology.
- The key to success is to use batteries that are readily available for high volume products.
- How did Al respond to John’s comment about Toyota’s $50 million investment in Tesla?
- He said that to a cash-rich company like Toyota, $50 million is small investment and they won’t be out much if it fails and could benefit a lot if it succeeds.
- He said that Tesla could really use the money having lost so much money so far.
- He said that Toyota was just fishing for some new technology to revive its own electric car program.
- He said that Tesla had better be careful of Toyota and use the money wisely.