There are many enthusiasts for a Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), the standard in a luxury electric car. However, the $70,000 it takes to own one is making the Tesla a rather exclusive item. Elon Musk said he plans to change all that by bringing out a compact version of the car that will sell for about half the price of Teslas on sale these days.
Reuters reports that Musk, Tesla’s chief executive, is looking to keep the price of these forthcoming cars down around the $30,000 mark, and the company is hoping to deliver them in “three to four years.” A compact Tesla would share some of the design components of the Model S sedan on sale now and the crossover Model X slated to go on sale later in the year. The Model X is the more affordable of the two, starting around $60,000 before the electric car rebate.
What would a compact version of the Model S be like? Musk suggested buyers of the BMW 3 series and Audi A4 customers would be the target market for the forthcoming Tesla, which would have the company’s third-generation design in place. There would likely be gull-wing doors to keep the exotic feel attached to the more inexpensive model. Getting enough charging stations for all the Teslas on the road would be problematic at the current date, of course.
To solve that problem, Musk mentioned the company is increasing the number of Supercharger stations to 25 by mid-summer (currently, only eight exist). The company hopes to increase the number into the hundreds in the coming years. A full charge can give drivers between 200 and 250 miles. “Consumer Reports” claimed Tesla scored 99 out of 100 only because it could not travel thousands of miles like other cars, as there would be no charging station in most directions.
Considering the new models will retain the same combination of electric motor and lithium battery power supply, countless more people will have access to the benefits of a car that does not require gasoline. The best electric model by Ford (NYSE:F) — the 2013 Focus Electric — currently goes around 75 miles on a full charge and starts around $40,000.
Interestingly, Musk mentioned that the company would consider sharing its Supercharger technology with other car makers, in what would be an actual show of love for the electric car concept. In either case, Tesla will have a hot product on its hands if it can produce the proposed compact cars by 2017.
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