Axios reports that the $25,000 vehicle will be developed alongside a robotaxi. According to Musk biographer Walter Isaacson, Musk initially scrapped his plans for a $25,000 vehicle in favor of developing a robotaxi, quoting Musk as saying, “There is no amount [of robotaxis] that we could possibly build that will be enough,” but Tesla executives persuaded him to pursue plans for a small, affordable EV.
“The high-volume, low-cost smaller vehicle is actually much more conventional,” Musk told investors of the new car’s design. “We’re doing everything possible to simplify the next-generation vehicle in order to achieve a units-per-minute that is unheard of in the auto industry.
Tesla’s Cybertruck, which will start hitting the roads in November and will enter full production in 2024, is known for its futuristic design and array of unique features. Tesla’s new, smaller vehicle will be “cool, but [utilitarian],” Musk said. “It’s not meant to fill you with awe and magic, it’s to get you from A to B. Still beautiful, but utilitarian.”
Because the new vehicle is meant to be affordable, it will likely lack many of the flourishes that the Cybertruck has made headlines for, such as its stainless steel body and armored glass windows, a 17-inch touch screen, and motors for each wheel.
Because of its “more conventional” looks and features, the new vehicle will be easier and faster to build than the Cybertruck, which has faced years of delays.
A $25,000 EV would be a game-changer for the auto industry and the fight against the climate crisis. Though demand for EVs has been booming in recent years, EVs remain pricey. As of July 2023, the average price paid for an EV in the United States was $53,469, over $5,000 more expensive than gas-powered cars. With a more affordable option on the market, more drivers could make the switch to electric, reducing the air pollution caused by gas-powered vehicles.
When asked about the timeline for the new vehicle, Musk said Tesla would not be providing timing information at this time. Considering the time and resources needed to design and produce a new car and the fact that Tesla has been promising a $25,000 EV since 2018, it will likely be years before we see these vehicles on the road.
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