Elon Musk Envisions Tesla Electric Car as Low as $20K

32 Comments

Shortly after Tesla held a press conference Wednesday morning touting its $250 million planned plant in San Jose, Calif., Tesla chairman Elon Musk presented his vision of Tesla’s leadership role in the auto industry at the AlwaysOn GoingGreen conference. Musk said that Tesla has the ability to accelerate the auto industry’s progress toward the adoption of electric vehicles by 5 to 10 years. Lighting even that small fire could be very important if you consider what a decade of delay can do for climate change, he said.

Tesla’s efforts to spur the auto giants will include a third-generation, low-cost electric vehicle that could possibly be priced as low as $20,000, (he mentioned $30,000 as an option, too) a price point that is “super affordable,” he explained to us in a phone interview. The company has discussed plans for a third-generation car before, suggesting prices closer to $30,000. Tesla could produce the low-cost, third-generation electric car in partnership with other major auto makers, Musk said in his speech. He also noted the company’s previously announced partnership with Daimler and said that the connection could possibly turn into a larger deal. Details haven’t been announced about the deal with Daimler, but Musk confirmed with us that Tesla’s partnership with Daimler won’t focus on its Model S. So does that mean a future Daimler/Tesla EV partnership could deliver one of its third-gen lower-cost options? We’re not sure, but it sounds like a possibility.

Musk gave a few details on Tesla’s second generation Model S sedan, which he said the company will unveil early next year. Drivers will be able to swap the battery pack out of the Sedan, and in his talk Musk envisioned battery swap stations that could offer the same convenience as visiting a gas station. He explained to us that it was not that hard to design the battery to be swappable and that it made the car easier to service.

Battery-swapping made us think Tesla might be getting on board with Shai Agassi’s Better Place, but Musk said that at this point the two startups are focusing on different markets — Better Place currently has deals with Israel and Denmark.

On the topic of electric-vehicle competitor Fisker, Musk had some strong opinions. He said that the startup had copied a strategy from Tesla, but that it was using the wrong one (the Fisker-Tesla brawl headed to arbitration in June). We asked him what he thought the market would look like in 2010, when many of the large auto makers are first launching their electric vehicles, and he said it would be significantly later than that before any serious contenders came onto the market.

32 Comments

domenico

adesso che avete manipolato le infornazioni cosa ne avete ricavato? avete coinfermato quanto scritto nel commento, avete bisogno di questo per sentirvi protagonisti, ma in modo errato, lo si è semplicemente nella semplicità e nella sincerità.

domenico

se nessuno comincia a fare auto elettriche a basso costo anche solo per la città e da città a città a costo quasi zero, continueremo a farci comandare dai proprietari del petrolio. è bene che questi ultimi si convincano (cosi anche chi li usa o si fa usare -politici? o chi per esso ), che dovranno accontentarsi delle ricchezze acquisite e questo vale per tutti i settori e campi, se si vuole essere veramente felici e migliorare la qualità di vita senza danneggiare altri esseri umani, altrimenti non ci distingueremo piu per la nostra intelligenza, bensi per l’accomunamento agli animanli senza mente e anima, e questo, a
PRESCINDERE dal credo religioso. ritorniamo quindi ad essere utili l’un l’altro. cerchiamo energie pulite che creano comunque lavoro, ridistribuiamo le ricchezze e staremo tutti bene, a che serve tu abbia miliardi e non hai rispetto per te stresso e l’amore degli altri, a niente non è questo il rispetto e l’essere grandi, ma lo è nel dare il neccessario a tutti e debellare le invidie, gelosie, rabbie, che non sono affatto sane, ma sono demoni che ci portiamo dentro, l’essere sano è sorridere nel vedere un bimbo felice, una coppia che si ama, le persone che si vogliono bene veramente, non nell’apparenza e ci si vorrà sempre piu bene, quando ognuno di noi non avrà piu bisogno del superfluo o quanto meno del necessario per stare bene perchè no, ma tutti insieme. e chissà forse è proprio la terra il paradiso. se sapremo cogliere queste piccole cose, che ci farebbe tutti indistintamente grandi. non ci sarebbe piu bisogno di revival e cazzate varie per mettersi in mostra, perchò saremmo tutti protagonisti o angeli e il o i capi facciamolo fare a chi è piu altruista di altri perchò comunque sarebbe sotto il controllo di tutti e nei fatti. torniamo quindi all’energia pulita, facciamo bene al nostrto pianeta e a noi stessi che lo usiamo. se queste mie, serviranno a riflettere ben vengano. grazie. vogliamoci bene tutti.fine.

Hugh E Webber, member, Electric Auto Association

Nissan will have highway-capable battery electric vehicles (EVs) in US fleets next year. Tesla’s Roadster will probably be mass-produced next year, with the S follow-on selling in 2010. At least a dozen new EV makers with good products have been negotiating for financing, factories or mass-production partners all year and some of them will break through next year.
By 2011, we’ll have a choice of three or more highway-capable EVs with 100+ mile range for under $30,000.

See EVWorld.com for more info; my EVolution guest blog on that site refutes several anti-EV myths that continue to be promoted by petroleum interests (and some automakers.)

Anne Perretta

Folks, you can talk about Musk’s competitions all you want, i.e., Mitsubishi. The point here is WHEN WILL ANY MASS PRODUCED ELECTRICS HIT THE USA? Never as long as the Big Oil companies control the market…and they DO control the market. Electrics get pushed back each year. They think Americans won’t buy three wheelers so they let them on the market. I am getting ready to buy a Triac. I am not kidding myself. Good for Tesla for moving forward. If they were serious competition for the Oil Companies, though, some mysterious things would start happening to their plant and possibly their leaders.

Just watching

more vaporware!!!
None of the above has a car that will run far enough to get out of it’s own shadow.

kerry bradshaw

Musk is living on Mars, apparently. A low cost producer like Mitsubishi will be able to produce, at best, a 100 mile electric next year with a $20,000 battery pack. The car, of course, will cost $40,000.
Musk must be drinking heavily these days.

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