Tesla really is a unique automaker. Usually when a new model is confirmed, there are big press announcements touting a company's latest, greatest vehicle and everything it can do for consumers. Elon Musk's electric car company likes to do things a little differently, though. Instead, the CEO gave an interview about its long-awaited entry-level offering, the Model III, to the UK's Auto Express and confirmed the story on its Facebook page.
Tesla Model E
Tesla may have made major inroads with its Model S, and it's poised to enter new territory when it finally starts selling its Model X, an iconoclastic gullwing crossover. Neither of those may be as important as the model thereafter, which is expected to be its make-or-break sedan. It won't be called the Model E (thanks a lot, Ford), but the BMW 3 Series-challenging EV will be the litmus test that will determine if Tesla's EV future is palatable to the masses.
Tesla Motors has famously said it will produce and sell a more affordable all-electric car to help further its goal of changing the gasoline-powered paradigm. While there are certain things we know about that vehicle already – it will come standard with a battery capable of a 200-mile range, cost about $35,000 and be around 20 percent smaller than the Model S – there are some things we don't know. For instance, what it will be called.
Ever since February, when Tesla officially announced that it would build a gigafactory to make the incredible number of lithium-ion batteries it expects to need to power its electric vehicles, we thought it would be located in one of four states. Those four states – Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada – have been lobbying the automaker ever since, hoping to hear that the new, $5-billion plant and its 6,500 jobs would set up shop within its borders. Turns out, two of them might get
Somewhere between a Lexus CT 200h and an Acura ILX. But a little quieter and definitely bigger than a breadbox. That's the best comparison we could come up with when trying to get an idea of how big Tesla's more moderately priced sedan will be when it hits the market sometime around 2016.
A car that costs 80 percent as much to produce as another can't be half the price. That's the simplistic version why Stanphyl Capital Management says Tesla Motors will not be able to sell its "mass market" sedan for the low, low (by luxury electric-vehicle standards) Elon Musk-backed price of $35,000. In fact, the California-based automaker will take about a $13,000 bath for each unit it sells of the new vehicle, now referred to as the Model E.
In early December, Ford filed an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office for the name "Model E." Historically, Ford never produced a Model E, and while automakers are known to file for trademarks they never use, some have wondered if the application might be used for a concept car.
Timelines change, but when the timeline in question is the debut of the upcoming 'cheap' electric vehicle from Tesla Motors, potentially called the Model E, and that it's being moved up by a year or two, it catches our eye. Instead of the hopefully-2016-no-later-than-2017 debut we heard about earlier this year, Tesla higher-ups are now saying the less-expensive EV will get here in 2015. In January.
There is a lot of interest around the third-generation vehicle offering from Tesla Motors, and for good reason. With a potential starting price of $35,000, a 200-mile range and hinted to come in both sedan and crossover flavors, this is the electric vehicle that could take the mainstream market by storm. If the design and performance catches the public's attention like the Model S, then not only could the EV automaker move toward its factory's max production capacity of 500,000 units a year, it
Tesla is currently using the old General Motors/Toyota NUMMI facility in California for Model S production, and despite the brand's rapid growth, it's still not coming close to approaching the full 500,000-unit production capacity of that former facility. Still, the EV manufacturer is shopping around for both European and Asian production facilities in anticipation of bountiful increases in sales.
Tesla Motors appears ready to add a third model to its alphabetic lineup following the Model S and Model X. The company filed for a new US federal trademark registration for "Model E" on August 5th. The filing says next to nothing about what the Model E could be used for, only that it applies to "Automobiles and structural parts therefor" and is "Perfect for these industries: Vehicles and Products for locomotion by land, air or water." So, technically, it could be a stylish, expensive plug-in el