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Tesla wants to release a quality, yet affordable EV (unlike the Nissan Leaf)

Now that Tesla Motors has freed itself of federal debt, many are wondering, "What's next for the automaker?" According to its CEO, creating a quality electric vehicle that is also affordable is the main goal. 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that his company's Model S is a great EV, but it's a luxury car that is out of the price range of many consumers. He compared it to the Nissan Leaf, which is an affordable EV, but lacks quality (in Musk's opinion).

“With the Model S, you have a compelling car that’s too expensive for most people,” said Musk. “And you have the Leaf, which is cheap, but it’s not great." 

Musk said the ideal affordable Tesla EV would be available in about three to four years, and would be sold for under $40,000 USD. It would also have a range of about 200 miles per charge. 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk

With Tesla paying off its $465 million federal loan from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) an entire nine years earlier than expected last week, some suspected that Tesla's next move would be an acquisition by larger companies like Daimler AG and Toyota Motor Corp. Daimler AG has 4.87 million Tesla shares valued at $425 million and Toyota has 2.94 million shares valued at $257 million.

While Musk recognizes that an acquisition is possible in the future, he doesn't see his company being sold to another automaker.

“Tesla just seems very expensive [to other automakers],” said Musk. "I’d guess it would come from outside the auto industry. It would be a buyer with a very large cash position."

Musk said Apple is a large company that could qualify as a suitable buyer for Tesla at some point.

However, Musk isn't selling anytime soon. He wants to stick around to continue selling Tesla's popular Model S sedan (the company sold 4,900 in the first quarter), seeing profits soar (Tesla's profit came in at 12 cents a share for Q1, which was a boost from a loss of 76 cents a share in Q1 2012) and developing the affordable Tesla EV.

"What the world really needs is a great, affordable electric car," said Musk. "I’m not going to let anything go, no matter what people offer, until I complete that mission.”

Source: The Detroit News

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By Zapnot on 5/27/2013 11:22:05 AM , Rating: 2
"I’d guess it would come from outside the auto industry. It would be a buyer with a very large cash position."

That would be Apple then.

RE: Hmmm...
By rudolphna on 5/27/2013 11:38:48 AM , Rating: 5
Oh god don't even say that. Nightmares.

RE: Hmmm...
By euler007 on 5/27/2013 12:36:12 PM , Rating: 4
Let me throw the first stone.

The new model would only be available in white, but there would a -S model eight months later in black.

RE: Hmmm...
By cokbun on 5/28/2013 12:21:10 AM , Rating: 3
and of course the price will be 20.000 $ for the 32 miles range model and 40.000 $ for the 64 miles range model

RE: Hmmm...
By CZroe on 5/27/2013 12:44:32 PM , Rating: 2
They'll probably make iPeds and claim that they were the first ones to make a compelling moped (once you finally get them to admit that it's not something completely new).

Seriously though: I think a motorcycle is the fastest way to make extended range EVs affordable. There are already a few players, including one started by a Tesla engineer (Mission Motors). Too bad their Mission One EV bike stalled and they don't plan on selling complete bikes. I really want to see what Tesla could bring.

RE: Hmmm...
By Shig on 5/27/2013 1:25:52 PM , Rating: 3
Google buys them, 90% of driver workforce eliminated in 5 years.

RE: Hmmm...
By Nutzo on 5/28/2013 11:39:26 AM , Rating: 2
Apple buys them and manufacturing is moved to china.

RE: Hmmm...
By wushuktl on 5/28/2013 7:47:12 AM , Rating: 3
Small percent of Teslas vehicles are suddenly crashing into everything and anything on the road. Teslas response: "you're driving it wrong"

RE: Hmmm...
By umpabumpalump on 5/27/2013 3:15:21 PM , Rating: 2
More like Google or even Amazon or any one of the other number of businesses that at least try to show an interest in their customers needs.

Apple would destroy Tesla if they owned it. releasing cars that would be written off at the first hint of a bump, and one that needed updating every year and became slower with each upgrade.
Google would produce a large range of cars with various price points and Amazon would produce a car that was super cheap but could only be recharged at their power station.

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation

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