During a recent all-hands meeting, Tesla CEO Elon Musk provided some updates on one of the company’s most ambitious vehicles: the ~$25,000 compact car. According to information shared by individuals familiar with the items discussed in the meeting, Musk clarified that the upcoming vehicle “Model 2” will not be named But it could be a car designed for full self-driving without a steering wheel or physical pedals.
EV Blog electrek, citing individuals who attended a recently held all-hands meeting, further claimed that the $25,000 compact car has a tentative release date of 2023. This is particularly conservative as previous reports from China indicated that work on an affordable Tesla is already underway. . Earlier this year, local reports from Chinese media outlets indicated that testing of a more affordable vehicle than the Model 3 is likely to begin in the latter part of the year.
• Tesla won’t call the $25k model “Model2.” “Ford only had the Model E trademark because of the Model 3 so we just did the Model 3 to troll them”
— Sawyer Merritt (@SawyerMerritt) September 3, 2021
Recent reports from the world’s largest EV market indicated that a prototype of the affordable Tesla was also completed, and most suppliers were already lined up for the upcoming vehicle. Considering Musk’s recent comments at the hands-on meeting, it looks like Tesla is building two affordable all-electric cars: a more traditional compact EV that will be released in China and another low-cost car that will be released in China. Primarily designed for full self-driving in the United States. Both the vehicles have the potential to be disruptive in their own way.
An affordable Tesla in China — especially one that’s reportedly based on the Model 3 platform — will likely be a big hit among budget-conscious buyers who want to get the most out of their vehicle purchase. Tesla equips its cars with a strong set of standard features, and its vehicles typically offer performance that is well above their price point. These, along with the one offered by the Supercharger network, will allow Tesla’s cheap car in China to be competitive in the country’s local market.
Chevy Bolt with no steering wheel or physical pedals. (credit: Cruise Automation)
Tesla Model 3 with steering wheel. (credit: Tesla)
Even a low-cost pure FSD car for the United States would have some potential. Considering that Tesla can indeed develop fully autonomous solutions for its vehicles, a fleet of affordable robotaxis certainly makes sense. That sort of idea isn’t all that wild, given that GM’s Cruze debuted the exact same concept in 2018. During that time, Cruze showed a concept of the Chevy Bolt EV with no steering wheel or physical pedals. Cruise was targeting a 2019 rollout for the vehicle at the time, although such a target was not met. Tesla also unveiled a similar concept for the Model 3 in 2019 when it held its Autonomy Day event.
Tesla’s affordable car is the next big project for Elon Musk and his team. After all, profitably producing a mass-market car like the Model 3 is no joke, but rolling out a cheap car that can still turn a profit will be an even more challenging undertaking. If Tesla can pull it off, however, the company can effectively cement its place as the leading automaker of this generation, and a company that holds the keys to true autonomous driving.
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