Tesla may finally live up to one of Elon Musk’s long-standing promises and deliver a car to its customers for a bargain basement price. Speaking to Axios, Musk’s biographer Walter Isaacson has apparently revealed that Tesla plans to produce a small car that will retail for less than $25,000. Should the rumors be true, the compact electric vehicle would enter large-scale production at the end of 2024, and likely be delivered to customers in 2025.
The nature of the leak means we haven’t actually seen an image of the proposed vehicle, though there are some clues around as to what it could look like. According to the Axios report, it would have a futuristic design much like the Cybertruck. Concept drawings for an unknown Tesla model were displayed during a corporate video (embedded below) that the company released earlier in 2023. This has led to some people hypothesizing that the compact car in the sketches could be the bargain-priced Tesla we were promised.
If it is, that may be bad news for some. The vehicle in the drawing looks more like a resized Peugeot 408 than a more basic Model S. There is also a chance Tesla will just stick to its standard design ethos — which involves making the Model 3 either bigger or smaller and adjusting the specs. So, if you were hoping for a futuristic-looking EV for the price of a cheap sub-compact, then you may have been a touch optimistic.
As shocking as it may sound, the man who has previously promised a nation-spanning hyperloop transport system, the colonization of Mars, and that AI would wipe out humanity by 2023 may not deliver on everything he says. Even something less outlandish than monkey-murdering brain implants, like the Cybertruck, for example, is not what was initially promised in terms of price and features, and is way behind schedule.
A prototype of the Cybertruck was unveiled back in 2019, along with an ambitious production schedule. It is now more expensive than Musk initially suggested, its “bulletproof” windows reportedly can’t deflect a lightly tossed steel ball, and most customers who placed pre-orders won’t receive one until early next year at best. The Cybertruck isn’t the only time Tesla has gone back on its initial pricing plans either. The Model 3 was supposed to go on sale for $35,000. Instead, it rolled out at $52,000 and still costs over $40,000 six years on.
Although the news of a new, more affordable Tesla comes from a source very close to Elon Musk — it’s probably not worth getting your hopes up. The company itself has yet to unveil the vehicle or announce a production timeframe. Even if it is confirmed, Tesla’s record suggests any announcements should be taken with a pinch of salt. Curiously, the leak also suggests Musk was in favor of shelving the cheap vehicle in an attempt to focus efforts on a “RoboTaxi,” but was talked around by board members. This in itself may suggest the billionaire will happily dump the concept altogether if difficulties emerge. So even if you can stomach the new vehicle’s alleged looks and other quirks that will no doubt emerge, you may be waiting a long time for one. If it even arrives at all.
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