Before Elon Musk even begins to consider letting Tesla be acquired by a larger company, expect a “compelling” electric vehicle with a starting price under $40,000. That’s the latest news from Tesla, which recently paid back its DOE loans nine years early and has seen its stock shoot up past $100 a share.
The last time we heard about a more affordable Tesla, the entry-level four-door was to carry a base price around $30,000 and sell at much higher volumes than the Model S, whose production will be around 20,000-21,000 units globally in 2013. The less-expensive Tesla could reach consumers in three to four years, Musk said to Bloomberg, though the Model X’s debut has been pushed back to late 2014.
Musk acknowledged the Model S is priced too high for most consumers to consider, and described the Nissan Leaf as cheap but not great.
“What the world needs is a great, affordable electric car,” Musk said to Bloomberg. “I’m not going to let anything go, no matter what people offer, until I complete that mission.”
The Nissan Leaf has had a slow start, but with 62,000 units sold worldwide and a significantly lowered base price, the car has started to catch on a bit in the U.S. The Tesla Model S has sold well in spite of the lowest-range 40-kWh model the company said only four percent of customers asked for. Musk claims the more affordable electric car will have a range of about 200 miles, and we’re sure models with more range will easily pass the $50,000 mark.
Whether Tesla can bring to market in three to four years a compelling $40,000 electric four-door with a 200-mile range remains to be seen — the company’s next challenge will be the Model X’s launch.
By Zach Gale