Apparently, yesterday’s video wasn’t complete. I’m sure you noticed that Elon Musk’s presentation at the Tesla Motors enthusiasts gathering in Munich, Germany, was a little skippy.
After mentioning the Model X, which has been on the back burner for a little while, Elon Musk then goes on to mention the “third-generation mass-market car, which will be smaller than the Model S, not as many features, but about half the price.” Given that the Tesla Model S starts around $70,000, this would place the next Tesla Motors vehicle, rumored to be the Tesla Model E [for Everyone?], around $35,000.
And what about range? What kind of range could you get for $35,000 from Tesla Motors? Right now, the top-of-the-line Nissan Leaf SL, equipped with a 24kWh lithium-ion battery pack and 75mi range, sells for just over $36,000. Elon Musk says the as-yet-unnamed Tesla Motors mass-market electric vehicle will have a range of “at least 300km,” which is about 250% farther than you can drive in a Nissan Leaf.
Elon says that this new car is currently in sketch stage, and could get to clay modeling by mid-2014, and prototyping by early 2015. Given the advance of Tesla Motors, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a production model by that time. Tesla Motors offering a 185mi-range electric vehicle at just $35,000 is going to prove to be a popular option, probably even more popular than the base Tesla Model S, with 265mi range and twice the price. Strictly speaking range, the Tesla Model S goes for at least $264/mi, while the upcoming Tesla [Model E?] would go for just $189/mi. At 185mi range, the new Tesla would still be very capable for the average American driver.
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