Tesla’s $25k compact car may see real-world road tests sooner than expected

Tesla is now at a point where the company is on the verge of becoming a mainstream automaker. Its Model 3 sedan is currently one of the world’s best-selling electric cars, and the Model Y, its newest EV, is poised to become an even more popular vehicle. Amidst this momentum, all Tesla needs to do is release an affordable vehicle and it would be able to properly attack the greater auto market. 

Fortunately, it appears that Tesla is looking to release its most affordable car yet sooner than expected. The vehicle, which seems to have been labeled by the company as a “Future Product” in its Q4 FY 2020 Update Letter, has not been formally confirmed by executives like Elon Musk. But signs of the vehicle’s impending arrival, particularly in China, are starting to become more prominent. 

Credit: Sina Motors

As noted in a recent Sina Motors report, Tesla has already started the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for its affordable car, which is expected to be priced between RMB160,000 to RMB 200,000 (about $25,000 to $30,000). According to the China-based publication, the first batch of these vehicles should begin road testing soon, perhaps as early as the latter half of 2021. Speculations also suggest that the $25,000 vehicle may be unveiled at the Guangzhou Auto Show. 

Details about the upcoming vehicle are still very slim for now, though Tesla has noted that the car will be designed by locally-hired designers. This should allow the EV maker to create an affordable car that caters to the specific needs of the Chinese market. With this in mind, the upcoming vehicle will likely be positioned for the working class, and offer modest power and about 350-450 km (217-279 miles) of range. Combined with its price and Tesla’s trademark tech and safety, however, such a vehicle would likely sell very well. 

Design-wise, the media outlet noted that the $25,000 Tesla vehicle will be positioned as a compact hatchback built on the Model 3 platform. This should provide the upcoming vehicle with ample space and utility to be more than competitive against local EV rivals. The vehicle will also be produced in Gigafactory Shanghai, though the specific area where its production line would be set up is yet to be announced. 

Original Publication by Simon Alvarez at Teslarati.

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