There was a period when Tesla CEO Elon Musk seemed dismissive of the idea of an affordable Tesla. He voiced this sentiment in his Master Plan, Part Deux, where he thought there would be no need for a less expensive car after the Model 3 since the Robotaxi network should offer everyone affordable transportation.
Affordable EVs dominate auto segments in some countries
After all, there is a reason why affordable vehicles dominate in the auto segments of places like the Philippines. Even the world’s largest auto market and one of the strongest places for the Tesla Model Y, China has many car buyers that favor affordable cars.
However, the billionaire has not given many affordable EV thoughts to an affordable EV. In the fourth quarter and full year 2021 earnings call, Musk said that “we are not currently working on a $25,000 car,” to several Wall Street analysts’ disappointment.
Instead, he thought about building a dedicated Robotaxi with a futuristic design. These sentiments appeared to change during the Q3 earnings call. However, when the CEO stated that a third-generation vehicle (believed to be an affordable EV) would surpass all the company’s EV output today combined.
Musk’s appearance at the 2022 Indonesia B20 summit
It was not a surprise that during his 2022 Indonesia B20 summit appearance, Musk was questioned about his views on a more affordable Tesla. The interviewer teased that the car could be named “Model I” for “India” or “Indonesia,” two countries where such a vehicle would possibly be very competitive. In his response, Musk said that he couldn’t speak much about the brand’s future products, but he pointed out that the company is aware that an affordable EV is the way to go.
“Yeah, I can’t speak too much about the future Tesla product development except to say that we do think that making a much more affordable vehicle would make a lot of sense. And we should do something,” said Musk.
Speculations on EV prices & specs
Musk didn’t mention the vehicle’s specs or prices, though speculations in EV communities suggested that the automaker’s affordable car would possibly be in the $25,000 range.
As for specs, it wouldn’t be surprising if it is offered as a single motor vehicle built with a structural battery pack and megacasts to save on production costs.
However, the affordable EV would still come with the company’s suite of safety features, from active and passive safety systems to airbags.