Tesla wants to have a US$25,000 ($35,000) electric car by 2023.
CEO Elon Musk this morning said a range of advancements in battery cell technology and manufacturing should allow Tesla to sell a car for just US$25,000, realising a “dream” of his in the process.
“We’re confident that long-term we can design and manufacture a compelling US$25,000 electric vehicle,” Mr Musk said.
“This has always been our dream from the beginning of the company. I even wrote a blog piece about it,” he told a socially-distanced crowd.
“It was always our goal to try to make an affordable electric car, and I think probably about three years from now we’re confident we can make a very compelling US$25,000 electric vehicle that’s also fully autonomous.”
Mr Musk says the electric vehicle hasn’t been named, and revealed no hints about its performance or range.
Tesla will be able to build the more affordable car on the back of the advances in battery technology and production processes also announced today, including a tab-less cell design, silicon anodes, revised cathode designs, and manufacturing techniques designed to make it “the best at manufacturing of any company on earth”.
“This is the thing that’s actually most important in the long run,” Mr Musk said.
When it launches, the entry-level Tesla will join the BMW 3 Series-sized Model 3 and its Model Y SUV brother, the 5 Series-sized Model S and its Model X SUV spinoff, and the eye-catching Cybertruck.
The Model 3 was meant to be the first truly affordable Tesla, with Musk targeting an entry price of US$35,000 for a car with a smaller battery, cloth seats, and a more stripped-out interior.
But the “production hell” the company endured getting Model 3 deliveries started nixed that plan. Instead, the cheapest Model 3 packs powered seats, leather trim, and a software locked version of the battery from longer-range models.
It’s not available to order through the Tesla website, where the majority of sales are made – instead, buyers in the USA have to order the car over the phone or in person at a shopfront.