Print 49 comment(s) - last by karimtemple.. on May 29 at 11:01 AM

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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RE: affordable
By web2dot0 on 5/27/2013 8:02:05 PM , Rating: -1
Your cynical and sarcastic remarks will not go anywhere ....

While you keep saying "no" .... he keeps saying "yes".

Doers speaks louder than talkers. ;-D

Learn to "DO" before you learn to "TALK".

He's got a track record of success. What's yours?

RE: affordable
By Spuke on 5/27/2013 9:06:00 PM , Rating: 1
He's got a track record of success. What's yours?
So I have to be a billionaire now in order to determine what I can and cannot afford? I know I WON'T be buying an EV at $40k and my income bracket is exactly what he'll be targeting with that "cheap" EV. Call me when it's $30k loaded, isn't stripped of the options that price range has, has 4 doors AND it has a 350 mile range with the A/C and radio on at highway speeds in 100F temps.

RE: affordable
By web2dot0 on 5/27/2013 9:56:50 PM , Rating: 3
You are buying cutting edge tech, so premium is assumed. $40,000 is affordable to most middle class families. The question isn't whether the price is too expensive to you ....

It's whether the price is affordable to significant portion of the population. The answer is YES. Lots of people buy cars in the $40K range. ... A whole lot more than $60-$100K.

That's the right strategy.

Stop with the "I want a EV at $20K fully loaded, 1000mile range ....". We all want the holy grail.

He has proven people wrong that EVs can survive and can thrive. Give the guy come street cred. , and stop with the bashing.

It takes incremental steps to make things happen. 10 small steps == 1 big leap.

Think big, not be narrow minded.

RE: affordable
By 91TTZ on 5/28/13, Rating: 0
RE: affordable
By BaronMatrix on 5/28/2013 4:20:57 PM , Rating: 2
Better than testing how much SMOG AND SOOT our atmosphere can hold, you suicidal maniacs...

RE: affordable
By MZperX on 5/28/2013 12:45:53 PM , Rating: 2
I have been making over six figures since 2007. As far as income and net worth, my family is what would be considered upper middle class. I have never spent $40k on a vehicle and have no plans to do so in the forseeable future (say the next 10-15 years). That's way too much money. A vehicle is a depreciating asset that I like to spend as little as possible on. It's a money pit.

The most expensive vehicle I ever bought cost $20k. Now, I'm not sure if that's representative of the mythical "average" middle class consumer, but as long as they cannot produce a car that starts at a $20k base price, perhaps costs $25k nicely equipped, and tops out at under $30k in its top-of-the-line trim level, I will not be interested. And I even like Tesla and the EV idea for a variety of reasons: reducing dependence on foreign oil, cleaner if coupled with nuclear power generation (especially LFTR if we ever develop it), and also because it could save me money in the long run. But not for $40k thank you very much...

RE: affordable
By 91TTZ on 5/29/2013 9:30:37 AM , Rating: 2
I have been making over six figures since 2007. As far as income and net worth, my family is what would be considered upper middle class. I have never spent $40k on a vehicle and have no plans to do so in the forseeable future (say the next 10-15 years). That's way too much money. A vehicle is a depreciating asset that I like to spend as little as possible on. It's a money pit.

That's why people like you tend to accumulate wealth, while people who make $40k a year and buy new BMWs are perpetually in debt.

RE: affordable
By karimtemple on 5/29/2013 10:10:46 AM , Rating: 2
As opposed to the ~300% income rate? lmao. Bad math, son.

RE: affordable
By StormyKnight on 5/29/2013 2:07:54 AM , Rating: 2
Who are you to say what is affordable and to whom? Between my wife and I, we make around $150K/yr. We have mortgages, student loans, car loans, insurance, taxes and children. A small $40K car would be a luxury item we couldn't afford and simply wouldn't work for a family of 5. And if you think that I'm an isolated instance, you'd be dead wrong. I'd lay even odds this Tesla for the masses will be Volt/Leaf sized and not family friendly. I can barely afford the payment on my $20K car loan, much less a $32.5K one. This will be a car for single, rich greenies, nothing more.

RE: affordable
By karimtemple on 5/29/2013 10:07:08 AM , Rating: 2
This comment provides good insights, but to be fair the exact phrasing was "under $40,000."

I'm going to play Devil's Advocate here, because it's fun.

$20k is under $40,000, haha. Obviously it could mean e.g. $38k, but consider that he explicitly names the LEAF as a competitive target -- the LEAF is $28k.

Now $20k is a lot better than $28k, but aside from the whole "green" thing (who cares lol) and local/federal EV incentives, consider the daily cost. "kWh cost" in Google shows me an NPR article that says the average US cost was $0.12 in 2011. Conservative 3rd-party EV ratings appear to put the LEAF at about 3.4 miles per kWh.

That's $0.035 per mile. If your actual MPG on your combustion engine is 22 (avg 21.5), you're looking at $0.164 per mile. That's almost five times the cost. You can literally divide your monthly fuel cost by 4.5 to get your new monthly fuel cost on EV -- based on averages, about $125 a month.

$125 a month is about the difference between a $21k loan and a $28.8k loan. So far the theory that EVs would have less maintenance (and maintenance cost) seems to be holding up as well.

Peace and I'm out!

RE: affordable
By lelias2k on 5/27/2013 10:47:55 PM , Rating: 2
Well, today we carry more power in our phones that we had in our desktops 15 years ago, so how about some optimism for a change?

Technology will get there. Just give it time.

RE: affordable
By cyberguyz on 5/28/2013 8:25:44 AM , Rating: 1
I think it is affordable. And I am not a billionaire. Or even a millionaire.

A stinkin Chevy Volt is $42,000 where I live (Canada).

Shit, you are gonna drop $40k for a shitty little Prius (with the tech package - before taxes) here.

So Yes, I call $40,000 for a Tesla quite affordable sir!

Just as an aside: I spotted a Tesla Model S parked on the road the other day. It was one damn sweet ride and quiet as a ghost. The techie in me had wet dreams over it.

RE: affordable
By marvdmartian on 5/28/2013 9:10:40 AM , Rating: 1
You disqualify yourself by revealing you're from Canada. ;)

$40,000 is what middle class people currently pay for minivans and SUV's. I seriously doubt that Tesla is going to come out with a $40K e-SUV or e-minivan. More than likely, we're talking a compact to mid-sized car, like the Chevy Volt.....which is already a decent car, in the price range Tesla is referring to.

Affordable mid-sized cars will still sit in the $20,000 to $30,000 price range, NOT $40,000.

RE: affordable
By NeoReaper on 5/28/2013 10:57:31 AM , Rating: 2
its so refreshing to see someone logical enough to see that a 40k ev is NOT affordable. as much as ppl love to talk about EV being better for the planet and blah blah blah but ultimately ppl care about price points. someone here pointed out how expensive the prius and volt is and guess what, thats the exact reason why ppl would question this EV, its too expensive.

RE: affordable
By saganhill on 5/29/2013 8:20:29 AM , Rating: 2
4 doors? Only old men drive 4door sedans.

RE: affordable
By finetsky on 5/29/2013 10:48:47 AM , Rating: 1
Actually 40k is very affordable if you consider running cost. You have to pay a lot of cash every time you stop on gas station. Electricity is far less expensive. I've seen some analyzes and I would say that return on investment is quite rapid. 40k electric is same as 20k gasoline to me. Now consider the comfort of electric too.

RE: affordable
By karimtemple on 5/29/2013 10:57:58 AM , Rating: 2
By my math, you only save $1500 a year average on fuel. $40k EV is definitely not the same as $20k combustible -- more like a $33k combustible.

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