Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaking

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.