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 Rukkian on 5/28/2013 12:21:49 PM , Rating: 2
I will probably not own a 40k car anytime soon, but that does not mean it is not affordable, but you are calling out that this would be a base model, when track record with this company does not point to this. I would be surprised if this was stripped down much at all.

Either way it is just speculation at this point, as nobody (Even Musk) knows what that car will look like or have for options. If you compare it to the leaf, and add 13k, even with a bigger battery, in 4 years, you should be able to put out a pretty nice car.

RE: affordable
By RDO CA on 5/28/2013 1:25:04 PM , Rating: 2
It really depends on what $40k means.
Is it completly equiped or stripped? Is it with the Gov. $7500 subsidy already taken off? Is it with destination chg? If a fully loaded car without gov money is $40k and can go real world 200 miles with AC and other on it will sell.

RE: affordable
By karimtemple on 5/29/2013 11:01:07 AM , Rating: 2
The $7500 incentive isn't cash. It's tax credits and such. That also means it isn't necessarily $7500; it could be $0 depending on your situation, and anywhere in between.

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