Now run by Paypal founder Elon Musk, some commentators say Tesla appears to have struggled with supply chain and cost issues in the past, so the Toyota tie-in should give the company a big leg-up. The plan is to introduce the new Tesla Model S saloon at the Fremont, CA factory, with initial volumes of 20,000 cars a year promised from 2012.
Musk has always had a grand vision for Tesla, and reckons that as the plant expands it could employ up to 10,000 workers - but only 1,000 will be required for it to build the Tesla S initially.
Toyota already considers itself to be a global leader in hybrid/alternative technology, and popping $50m into Tesla's back pocket could never have been part of its own strategic plans.
Which leaves us wondering if the Japanese company, still reeling from its recall nightmare in the US, would have given a pot of gold to anyone offering a loved-up photo-op with Arnie?