By now, we've all heard that Tesla has repaid its loan from the US Department of Energy – nine years ahead of schedule – and the Model S is selling well enough to put at least a little fear into Audi, but what's next? Well there's the Model X crossover slated for late next year, but it's the long-promised, frequently mentioned "affordable Tesla" that could really help cement the automaker in the automotive industry record books.

According to Bloomberg, CEO Elon Musk talked more about the new baby Tesla recently, saying that the car should come to market by 2017 at the latest. In terms of details, Musk says it will be priced below $40,000 with a range of about 200 miles. Taking a swipe at the would-be competition, he also added that it will be nicer than a Nissan Leaf. Given the recent Tesla-related PR blunders from Audi and Chrysler recently, we hope Nissan won't vent its displeasure at that statement.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 174 Comments
      Bernard
      • 1 Year Ago
      I can't wait to see it! Also, if Nissan does have an angry response I'm sure that'll be entertaining as well. I love Nissan, but the Leaf isn't a Tesla by any stretch.
        Vlad
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Bernard
        It doesn't cost like a Tesla, either.
      brucec039
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ah yes, the under $40K affordable car. This means short range, stripper. It\'ll be $40k. The only reason it will be affordable is that taxpayers will again be on the hook for $5-10K of the price.
        Grendal
        • 1 Year Ago
        @brucec039
        Except, the taxpayer is NOT on the hook or anything else. Do you not understand what a tax credit is? Really? Why do I have to explain this every thread? It's your money!! You earned it! Let's walk you through this... 1. You work. 2. Your employer pays you for your work. 3. The government makes your employer take money out of your check to give to the government. That's the Federal part. The State takes out and that is the State part. 4. On April 15th you get to claim a number of credits and the government lets you keep some of your money. Your children and mortgage are usually large deductions. 5. If you buy a qualifying electric car then you get to count that as a deduction as well. 6. If you're lucky and made enough then you get to keep $7500 of the money you earned instead of giving it to the government. The government isn't giving you money you earned - you earned it! You just get to keep it. For those who are pro-Republican, isn't this exactly what you are always fighting for? Keeping more of your own money? How did this become a bad thing? Aren't you always fighting for less taxes? Aren't you wanting to give the government less of your money so they don't waste it? Who has convinced you that this is a bad thing? Think about it. That person has to have an agenda that is not in your best interest. And by the way, it was the G. W. Bush administration that creates the tax credit. And why did they do that? Because it is in Americas interest to get off foreign oil and oil in general. Why? Because the country uses 9,100,000 barrels of imported oil per day. http://www.dailyfinance.com/2011/02/28/surprising-facts-about-us-and-oil/ A barrel is currently around $100 a barrel. So we, as a country, are losing $900 million every day to imported oil. That is why the government has a vested interest in lowering that number. That is a threat to you. That is a threat to all of us that live in the United States. That is why every administration, when they are in power, are trying very hard to get us from losing that vast sum of money. Getting to keep $7500 of your own money is nothing compared to that.
          Grendal
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Grendal
          @Marco I totally understand your point. We've had this discussion before. If I was having a reasoned argument with someone like you I would concede the point you are making. People like brucec039 are not making a reasoned argument. They are spouting talking points that are far from reasoned. That is why I am making my point. It is to break them out of their parroted uninformed position and to hopefully get them to understand a larger viewpoint. If they, from that new perspective, want to come back and have a reasoned discussion where they bring up the loss of tax revenue then that would be a pleasure to discuss and debate. As for how much is truly lost to the country due to imported oil then of course it is a much much more broad picture than I painted in my little rant. I almost brought up the costs that burning fossil fuels brings to the national health. I didn't because of the "lefty" stigma that might create. It is a fact that there is an effect. That effect generates additional cost to the taxpayer. Then there are the costs of national defense and national offense. The United States still has a large military presence in the Middle East and lots of other oil producing nations that also generates substantial cost to the taxpayer. That is certainly a complex (not black and white) issue and certainly debatable as well. The $7500 tax credit is just a small token amount of money to promote a new technology that has the potential, in a very small way, to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. There are lots of arguments that can be brought up to argue both for and against the tax credit but to blithely dismiss it as wasteful government spending then I'll continue to make my point that it is not the governments money.
          Marco Polo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Grendal
          @ Grendal In general, I support government tax incentives. Tax credits are a long established method of economic management. The principle of taxpayer funded grants etc, to promote social or economic policy is also long established. Naturally, such programs must be open to scrutiny, and monitored to ensure the money isn't being diverted for corrupt purpose or wasted, but in the end, it's the governments decision, and the voters can decide at election time if the government policies are effective, and affordable. However, your argument that tax credits don't cost other tax payers money, is inaccurate. Tax credits or deductions, lower the total tax pool, and governments must fund the deficiency elsewhere. Tax credits are incentives, just as special tax credits offered to various corporate taxpayers, encourage investment in areas the government belives are important for good economic management. (sometimes, regrettably, more political than economic !) . Whether promoting the reduction in oil imports is good economic policy, or not, is more about politics than economics. Just as reducing oil consumption is an emotional, rather than economic concept. Most people have very little concept of how a national economy functions, and try to apply simple household budget practices to vastly more complex model. The simple notion that if "oil costs $100 dollars a barrel America loses $900 million per day"' , is simplistic ! Lot's of different factors must be considered. How much of the $900 million is offset by trade ? How much economic activity is generated from the oil ? What tax revenue does the US government derive from the oil ? By how much does less oil consumption cost US tax revenue ? How will that loss of revenue be replaced ? What's the cost of alternatives to US tax receipts ? How much of that oil is from Free Trade nations, (considered part of the US economy) ? etc, etc. Those are just a few of a myriad of factors arising from energy imports. When all these considerations are factored, the complexities of managing a modern economy can be appreciated. It doesn't help that political candidates are forced by the media to explain complex economic issues, in couple of snappy sound bites ! Tax credits and incentives are a legitimate use of the government's mandate to run the economy. But 'brucec039' is not wrong to say that tax credits increase the burden on other tax payers "brucec039', could legitimately argue that deductions for children and mortgages, are also unfair on those who have neither. He would be correct from his point of view. All 'societies' live as collectives. Governments are elected to manage economies. 'brucec039', is free to either, persuade enough of his fellow citizens to change government policy, or to seek residence elsewhere . If he remains, he must accede to the governments economic policies, while being free to voice his objections in a peaceful, democratic manner.
          Grendal
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Grendal
          Without even bringing GHG and Global Warming into the discussion. I would say that while new vast deposits of oil that would last a thousand years would still mean that humanity is burning a fossil fuel to power its vast industrial engine cannot be a good thing. Having a much more diverse means of powering our industrial engine makes a much more long term sense for many reasons. Efficiency should have a big say in which should win for personal transportation. I don't know what would work best when it comes to large scale transport. Cars are one thing, but planes, trains, and ships are another and what is best for one type might not be the best for the other. It's a very complex problem and I'm glad that Tesla is here to break new ground and borders.
          Marco Polo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Grendal
          @ Grendal, Of course you are quite correct. The "not with my taxes' argument is as simplistic, and poorly concieved as some of the more extreme anti-oil rantings. The business of the US military is more about preserving US alliances and it's influence in the world than oil. Some could argue that the US problems in the Middle East were created by the long standing US policy of 'uncritical' support for Israel. But my post was really aimed at trying to bring some perspective to the debate. For many years I, like many others, believed that 'Oil depletion' would become a serious problem within the next 40 years. Now I'm not so sure. The rapid deployment of amazing new exploration and extraction technology for fossil fuels, makes that scenario far more unlikely. If oil (petroleum) depletion isn't such a pressing issue, that leaves the environment. But the simple eradication of Bunker oil in shipping along with investment in reforestation, and desertification prevention, easily negates any threat posed by man-made climate change. If this is correct, EV technology will be forced to compete as a technology on purely economic and consumer preference. That's the whole point of Elon Musks achievement with Tesla. Tesla is beginning to show the potential of building an EV, that even if it doesn't save the planet, is simply a better car ! This is very reassuring, since disengaging fossil fuel energy from Western economic dynamics, is an almost impossible task.
        kontroll
        • 1 Year Ago
        @brucec039
        you ignorant stupid anti american moron...the taxpayers unfortunately SUBSIDIZE the garbage asian cars especially the junk called LEAF...at least if the taxpayer (including myself) will have to help a company, it should be American like Tesla, not some asian garbage helping asian economies...you are soooostupid that my computer is emanating smoke
      gop.hates.america
      • 1 Year Ago
      Progress! Republicans must be pissed again. Can you imagine if all that money wasted on wars just to satisfy the ego of king of clowns George Bush was used to educate and invest in research, we would have not one but hundreds of Elon Musks today.
        mdrieling
        • 1 Year Ago
        @gop.hates.america
        Get over it. We are hear to talk about the cars not politics.
        gop.hates.america
        • 1 Year Ago
        @gop.hates.america
        Now the republicans are trying to block NSF grants. Soon developing countries will be doing better research than us.
        big daddy
        • 1 Year Ago
        @gop.hates.america
        FYI democrats are just as good starting wars as republican and your savior Obama is still continuing the same war Bush started.
        carney373
        • 1 Year Ago
        @gop.hates.america
        Wasted on wars? Wars in the plural? Including Afghanistan? Lest you forget, that war was not our choice, but al Qaeda's, when they attacked us on 9/11. As for Iraq, you can disagree with his view that it was necessary, but if it was merely about his ego he would never have been able to get a lot of Democrats and foreign allies to join him - and since they were not all just stupid or bamboozled by his dazzling charisma, clearly it was a judgement call with legitimate arguments behind it, right or wrong. Elon Musk is a man of extremely rare talent , drive, and inspirational ability. There's no way to create an Elon Musk factory, and if there were, it sure wouldn't be to dump even more tax money into the bonfire of the bloated, fad- and self-esteem addled, union-patronage government-monopoly schools.
        Spec
        • 1 Year Ago
        @gop.hates.america
        Your one-party hatred is really stupid. Even a blind pig finds a truffle now & then, attack idea and policies not parties.
      Gabbo
      • 1 Year Ago
      Elon Musk is simply a rich kid who ran out and bought a couple high profile business ventures. Tesla picked a lot of low-hanging fruit ....now the tough work begins.
        zbaumel
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Gabbo
        Don't forget PayPal. Yeaa he just "ran out and bought" that, too. Dumb*ss.
        m_2012
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Gabbo
        Are you serious? Please take a minute to educate yourself. If a car business is so easy, you do it. He created a revolutionary product. Get over it. US product creating US jobs while eliminating foreign oil and greed. You should be backing him 110%.
        Vlad
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Gabbo
        Tesla, SpaceX, and Solar City are all built from scratch. First two have groundbreaking new tech, too.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Gabbo
        [blocked]
      Dave
      • 1 Year Ago
      $40,000 is too much. Even if electricity were free. Toyota Prius ~$24,000 150,000 miles / 50mpg x $4 per gallon = $12,000 Total: $36,000
        j
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Dave
        $40,000 is too much. Even if electricity were free. Toyota Prius ~$24,000 150,000 miles / 50mpg x $4 per gallon = $12,000 Total: $36,000 Dave did I miss something important. $40,000 - $12,000 = $28,000. I even used a calculator in case my math was off. Isn't 28 thousand less than 36 thousand?
        m_2012
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Dave
        Seriously? You are going to compare a Prius to a Model S? # passengers? Cargo space? Performance or, in the case of the Prius, lack thereof. MPG's. Looks. The Prius loses in every category imaginable.
        Dave
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Dave
        If you can't compete with existing technology, your market will never expand beyond a niche of early adopters.
        Joeviocoe
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Dave
        Are you beyond blind???? How on Earth could any motor vehicle EVERY be sold if that made any sense. There are plenty of luxury/premium vehicles that sell very well and make plenty of profit. And without the need to 'save money' on gasoline'.
        Spec
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Dave
        "150,000 miles / 50mpg x $4 per gallon = $12,000" Gas is $4.20 gallon where I live today. And 3 to 5 years from now it will pretty much certainly cost much more. And I doubt you get 50mph consistently.
          Spec
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spec
          Well, now you know one of the reasons why EVs sell better in California.
          Dave
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spec
          FWIW - Gas is $3.49 where I live today. $4.20. Ouch.
          Dave
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Spec
          And, OTOH - I'm not considering the greater sales tax, property tax, finance charges, and insurance on the more expensive vehicle.
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      I bet Nisan is realizing that they need to add more batteries to their Infiniti LE model instead of just using that 24KWH pack. That is not going to cut it for a luxury vehicle.
        Dave
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spec
        Considering how few buyers opted for the 40kwh Model S, it seems obvious that buyers want much more range than Nissan's 24 kwh pack would provide.
        Joeviocoe
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spec
        I'm sure Ghosn is reading this blog right now, wondering who this Spec guy is...
        Grendal
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spec
        You got that right. I wonder if they actually realize it though.
        chanonissan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Spec
        accoding to ghosn there is a new nmc battery coming on stream with more power double the range of the current 24 kwh battery and some serious regenerative, but nissan can probably hook up some sort of system like the renault have on the little ev, that shoot out power and recharge battery at the same time and mitsubihi will have a battery with a range of 186 miles from a 28kwh battery. This is a wait and see game but telsa is going to get serious competition. http://www.ecogeek.org/component/content/article/3006 http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/11/nissan-nmc-20091129.html
      2 wheeled menace
      • 1 Year Ago
      Oh thank god. It'd been at least 2 hours since the last Tesla motors article. Anyhow, $40,000 with a 200 mile range will shut up the EV doubters quick. I'd like to see such a car come out before 2017.. ;)
        Drakkon
        • 1 Year Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        The folks on AutoBlog green didn't appreciate my quib about how many Tesla articles.
        ChrisH
        • 1 Year Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        oh it will be out, but Tesla will be beaten to the punch if they wait till 2017
      Spies1
      • 1 Year Ago
      That dude needs to shave. Yomama's mamma can grow a thicker beard that than.
      Koenigsegg
      • 1 Year Ago
      the nissan leaf is one of the most ugliest vehicles i've ever seen in my life, everything about it is great except its exterior god damn whoever designed and okay'd it has bad taste
        Spec
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Koenigsegg
        Oh jeez, it is not that bad.
        John Hansen
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Koenigsegg
        Seriously, I love Tesla and I own a Volt, but what's with all the Leaf complaints? It's almost indistinguishable from other hatchbacks on the road. It actually somewhat bland, but not ugly. Save your criticism for the Aztek, or almost any modern Acura that has a beak.
        Joeviocoe
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Koenigsegg
        That is Japanese styling... remember, it is NOT an American car. And the Japanese do find beauty in things Americans find ugly. And their food palette is very different too.
        Grendal
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Koenigsegg
        I agree with the others. The Leaf not that different from any other small hatchback. I do think they should alter the looks for the American market and make it look more cool. The Leaf could certainly be worse though. I don't think Tesla is actually going after the Leaf directly. Elon was joking. They are going after the BMW 3 series market. Tesla wants to continue to sell to the premium buyer.
        Rotation
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Koenigsegg
        the interior isn't that great either. Rather cheap feeling. Seats are okay.
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      "$40,000 with a range of about 200 miles" I want to believe.
      Lab Rat
      • 1 Year Ago
      Well, if Mr. Musk has his way, It will probably be sooner than later. Watch out, 3-Series and A4.
      Jeff Gilleran
      • 1 Year Ago
      Avinash. Elon Is indeed forging the way for electric cars for the masses. I wish him, and Tesla, nothing but success.
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