2013 Tesla Model S front quarter

If you’re thinking that you’d love to have a Tesla Model S, but it’s just too expensive, we have some good news. Elon Musk, one of the cofounders of Tesla Motors and the CEO of the company, said over Twitter that a smaller car is on the way in about three to four years that will cost in the neighborhood of $30,000 at today’s prices.

Already, the Tesla Model S has shown that electric cars can go beyond a relatively short 100-mile range and can act as an only car. The problem is that they’re prohibitively expensive, costing as little as $52,400 for a base car with a 160-mile range and as much as $106,000 for a loaded Model S with the high-performance motor. By the end of next year, a similarly expensive seven-passenger Model X crossover will be debuting with available all-wheel drive–one electric motor per axle.

Over Twitter when responding to one of his followers, Musk said that the small sedan would be about the size of an Audi A4 or BMW 3 Series, have fewer standard features than the Model S, and would start at about $30,000 in 2013 dollars, not including inflation. He said that it will have a greater than 200-mile range.

While still some years off, this next Tesla model could be a real game-changer for electric cars. For about $30,000, the best electric car you can get has a 76-mile range–the Nissan Leaf. That kind of money is loaded Buick Verano money.

Alas, Tesla is still a new company and hasn’t yet broken into profitability. Musk says that will likely happen this year, as Tesla has had its hands busy filling as many orders as it can every week. Finally, Tesla’s capacity is running at a full 400 units per week; the company plans to sell 20,000 Model Ss a year. Adding to that will be 15,000 Tesla Model Xs. And the smaller model that will follow the Model X will undoubtedly reach even greater volumes if Tesla can become profitable and deliver a high-performance electric sports sedan and a truly attainable price for the average new-car shopper.

Source: Twitter via Forbes

By Jacob Brown