Tesla Model E

Tesla Model E

What does the E stand for? The car meant for "E"veryone?

PorfirioR | August 22, 2013

I feel like I am the only one who missed the memo. Everyone in this forum seems to think it means "economy".

I thought it would be the Executive version of the Model S for the China market:

I think they might have to change more than the rear seat if the car's owner is going to be satisfied riding there. They might have to alter the roof line to increase headroom, justifying a whole new Model designation.

This is all speculation on my part. I know nothing.

Timo | August 22, 2013

Hm. It could mean "Extended" as in limo-version of the Model S. Then GenIII compact car could get "C" and this tradition to use first letter of the car type as its model letter goes uninterrupted.

bent | August 22, 2013

The E is for "Eeeeh…" which was the CEOs initial response when someone asked, "so what should we call the Gen3?" :P

Brian H | August 22, 2013


ian | August 22, 2013

Ha! Good one Brian!

Although, I thought that word was part of the larger "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious".

Then again, I looked up Expialidocious and it's got a definition in the Urban Dictionary...

"so amazingly delicious, so damn sexy"

So, yeah, that works too. ;-)

roseland67 | August 22, 2013


filsmyth | August 22, 2013

goneskiian, EVERY Tesla is Supercali... Fragilistic apparently describes the NHTSA roof-crushing machine.


I don't like 'Model C'; sounds 'average'. Besides, Ford used it for the 1933 and '34 cars (the '32 was Model B).

Not crazy about 'Model E' either, sounds like an adjective -- 'modelly' -- but it's an improvement over 'C', which was never official.

If 'Model E' is intended for the Gen3 car, there's still plenty of time for it to be changed, right? What's wrong with 'Bluestar'?

Darko | August 23, 2013

As probably the most important car in the company's roadmap, it deserves to bear the CEO's initial, so it could actually be "E for Elon". I think I remember mr.Musk chuckling at an interview when 'model E' was mentioned...

bonaire | August 23, 2013

In a recent interview, Musk mentioned about possibly building a factory in Asia (I suppose China) to build a new "smaller, cheaper car". I have to wonder if the goal is to make the Model-E in China? That would help meet the targeted price whenever it is released.

negarholger | August 23, 2013

I think he was talking long term beyond Modem E. With a starting price of $35k it is not a cheap car, it is stll a premium car.

Tesluthian | August 23, 2013

Does a Tesla-Tuosule factory in China requires a local partner ?

This Tuosule-Tesla/China partner plant makes sense for a compact car Model C, i would think. Unless you want to pay what, 25k for a smart car size vehicle as opposed to 10k-15k vehicle made in a China partnership. Each party could make their own battery. Or Tuosule could license its supercharger technology and sell their batteries to the Chinese, if Tuosule (Tesla) could figure out how to make the whole system non-reverse engineer-able.

I believe a China factory also avoids 100% import fees, which is critical for EV's selling at this price point. I don't know; but, these joint cars may even qualify for Chinese green car tax credits ?

As stated previously, critical for this joint venture, Tesla would possibly want to design a Model C with technology that is not copy-able by the Chinese, at least as much as possible. As well as decide what manufacturing techniques etc to share with the Chinese.

Also a Tuosule/Cinese factory could be 99% robotic with all assembly people being engineers working the robots etc. The best part the Chinese could finance the whole thing and even contribute new manufacturing ideas & techniques to be jointly shared.

I 'm projecting at least 10 yes out here, but exploratory talks should start ASAP.

Tesluthian | August 23, 2013

Correction: "yes" should be " years".

alcassfast | August 23, 2013

Model E = "Earth"
It is a six-wheel drive car for use on Mars.

Timo | August 23, 2013

Wouldn't that be Model M?

Brian H | August 23, 2013

Keeping in mind that Elon's goal is widespread electric transportation, I suspect he is much less exercised about Chinese tech- and patent-theft than most.

ian | August 23, 2013

They do have cash flow and are sitting on $750 million in cash. They'll be around for a long time, don't you worry.

They do not have the GenIII ready for production next year because there isn't a battery supplier ready to provide the quantities they will need to sell the GenIII even if prices were low enough for them to make a profit, which they are not. Not yet.

Like I said in the other thread, Elon welcomes the competition and has always said, as Brian H mentions, that his goal is widespread EV transportation. Can MB, BMW and Audi build a better EV than Tesla? Maybe. Let's hope we find out so we have some great choices. So far, Tesla's eating their lunch.

bonaire | August 23, 2013

Its kind of like getting to grid parity with solar. The only way to make gen iii profitable is build it in China and import it here where we have no tariffs. A bit like coda, but done rght.

nenicu | August 24, 2013

i think it comes for extraordinary and .... expensive! but i definetlly would buy one!!
anunturi braila

makeitso1 | August 24, 2013

I have no objection to Blue Star being made in China, as long as it's still a great car. For respect's sake, I do think Tesla's premium vehicles should stay in American factories, for integrity's sake.

carlgo | August 24, 2013

While an iToy has only a few minutes of human labor involved, something like a $15-22 cost advantage over theoretical US production, the real saving are in tax avoidance and the lack of enforcement of any existing environmental regulations. Apple, being so visible, has been in the news for these questionable activities, and they are the main reasons manufacturing has gone to China.

And of course there is that labor edge and the forced flexibility of the Chinese labor force, marching off to the plant singing the company song whenever management wants them to.

And it is well known that a golden handshake gets things done and shovels into the ground.

Clearly, though, politically and culturally it is good to make products in countries where they are sold. And of course there are transportation and tariff issues. I would hope for both Chinese and American plants, European as well. And that American companies are not allowed to break US laws simply because they slip across the border.

dpazdan | August 24, 2013

I'm having a hard time with the idea that they would name the gen3 anything other than model s for the sedan and X for the SUV. The fact is it will be a sedan just smaller so it should still be part of the model S fam. Maybe call is model Se and model Xe for the smaller gen 3s. If they do it right like apple the model S and X names will be very popular similar to iPod, iPhone and MacBook.
Model E could then be for an even cheaper yet to be announced 2 door economy car like a smart car but sportier, maybe more like a BMW 1 series.

Tesluthian | August 24, 2013

What does E stand for ? I vote for Excalibur. I like the symbolism.

ikutoisahobo | August 24, 2013

I'll stick with(E)conomy or (E)veryone!

Brian H | August 24, 2013

Definitely "Expialidocious".

filsmyth | August 24, 2013

E is for Electric. I think it's that simple.

Then again the E in the T E S L A logo looks a lot like the 14th letter of the Greek alphabet (uppercase), Ξ -- which may have some significance among key Tesla team members.

...Can we please stop referring to the Gen3 car as 'Model C' now?

3seeker | August 25, 2013

Besides Model X, the company seems to follow Mercedes Benz's naming convention. It's no surprise since Elon Musk likes to compare the Model S to the S-Class.

Here's an interesting bit... the meaning of E-Class from Wikipedia:
"The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a range of executive cars manufactured by Mercedes-Benz in various engine and body configurations. The E initially stood for Einspritzmotor (German for fuel injection engine)"

Could the E be an emphasis on electric energy?

PorfirioR's idea of an executive class seems valid too.

3seeker | August 25, 2013

Btw filsmyth I second your opinion as well. Plus I believe that the Model E will be the Gen III since Elon wants to get it to market ASAP. Personally, I can't wait to get one for myself.

Down the road I would like to see a Model T... kinda like a tribute to Ford and Tesla. Sounds like a good idea?

filsmyth | August 25, 2013

A Tesla Model T does not sound like a good idea to me, at all. Ford abandoned the letter naming series after the 1932 Model B, perhaps realizing it would be a bit of a mess to wade through the alphabet all over again, and I'm actually hoping Tesla will abandon it as well.

The Ford Model T is an icon, and I'd hate to think of future generations being confused by another vehicle with the same name. For similar (if less profound) reasons the letters A and B should not be used, and then there's Duesenberg... If you can picture a Duesenberg, that's a Model J.

With continued success and a proliferation of new models from Tesla Motors, eventually they will run out of 'good' letters. Should they wait that long?

On the other hand I myself have been coming up with Tesla concepts, and assigning them letters like L, Q, H, G, and even E. Guess I'll have to rename THAT one...

...But speaking of 'E' again, it has occurred to me that it's sort of a backwards '3' -- you know, like Gen3.

stevenberry54 | August 26, 2013

So there will be a Model S, E, and X. Interesting...

filsmyth | August 26, 2013

...then of course there's the Japanese character for 3 (as in Gen3), which looks like this: 三

The Chinese character for 3 is the same.

Turn the Roman numeral III on its side.

is your mind blown yet?

Brian H | August 27, 2013

Model J:

bent | August 27, 2013

The only thing that's aerodynamic on that car, is the hood ornament. :D

filsmyth | August 27, 2013

That's a Duesey!

As in Duesenberg, and yes that's where the saying comes from.

LionPowered | August 27, 2013

The only facts I know about "Model E" are that a) it was registered and b) now nobody else can use that name. It's fun to guess though :-)

jstack6 | August 28, 2013

My guess,
Model S , sedan
Model X, X cross over
Model C, Compact Gen III 25% smaller than S
Model T, Truck
Model E, xkE style Roadster Replacement
Model V, Van
Model A, active changes to utility skate platform, wagon , pick up ,van changeable rear sections.
Model R, Range extension for 1,000 mile 1 charge drives in remote areas, cross country trips etc.

New features,
W wireless charging.

V2G GRID tied option for home back up, TOD buying and selling.

SS Solar Skin roof -hood- trunk high efficiency solar to keep battery cool or warm along with interior for long life and comfort.

Brian H | August 29, 2013

Per Elon, "about 20% smaller".

nambinhvu | November 9, 2013

Haha I remember Elon Musk making a joke about them registering the names of the cars and joking about someone saying, what are you trying to spell. haha After reading some of the comments, Model S, Model E, Model X, If they do make a C for consumer or compact, that'd be funny. That or Model Y. SEX C or SEXY :P

Brian H | November 9, 2013

Sex sells. Are you buying? >:)

elephant in a bottle | November 9, 2013

E for Elephant !
Can't fault that. :0)

vgarbutt | March 26, 2014

Since the gen 3 car will be designed chiefly to be affordable i would be happy with Model A. On the other hand, the most affordable cars are compact cars, so i could see the Model C. On yet another hand, the model T was a game changer for the industry so it might be fitting to call it a Model T, and pray it lives up to its namesake!

3seeker | July 5, 2014

Recent news regarding Gen III:

- The name Model E may be abandoned
- Construction will not be all aluminum
- Price point will be around $40,000
- Will arrive late 2016 to early 2017