Cheap small electric car from Tesla

Cheap small electric car from Tesla


I imagine that a small cheap wildly available car made by Tesla would be a success. A car in the dimension of a "VW up" or of the order of a "Renault Clio" would attract customers of lower income segments and thereby help electric cars to take over the market. More electric cars would entail the building of more charging stations and hence increase the comfort and advantages of driving an electric car. There are already small and economic e-cars purchasable but I guess they are not design marvels (i guess aesthetics shouldn't really matter but they do) like Tesla cars. Furthermore a cheap car for ordinary people would boost Tesla's image (it would establish them as a full grown car company which sells a wide range of car types (limousine, suvs)) and would be the best advertisement for a company (when people see a product in use).

I hope you understand the points I am making and I am curious about your constructive comment and reactions.

lilbean | 2017年6月26日

Model 3??

reed_lewis | 2017年6月26日

Sort of a Chevy Bolt, or Nissan Leaf, or the like?

Or a Smart ED two seater?

Frank99 | 2017年6月26日

Low-mileage EV's haven't been well received, so you'd have to make the assumption that this cheap, small car could travel 200 miles on a charge. That implies a battery pack similar in size to the Model 3 pack, with a cost on the order of $10K. Add in motors, chargers, and motor electronics, and you're probably up to $12-$14K in costs before you've bolted on a wheel or a seat.

A cheap 200 mile EV is going to have to wait for cheap batteries.

kingkek | 2017年6月26日

yes @reed_lewis this is what I meant. Thank you very much @Frank99 for explaining the difficulties. I hope that better and cheaper energy storage solutions will be developed.

Uncle Paul | 2017年6月26日

Tesla has been super successful, rolling out the right car at the right time.

Roadster. People were willing to spend $$$ for a high performance, sporty looking electric car. (Sold better than any attempted before)

Model S. They found customers for a pretty expensive, all electric 7 seater, sleek looking, and capable of high performance long distance cruiser with supercharger access, and stunning looks.

Model X. Worlds most successful, all electric, SUV type vehicle. Available in different configuration to optimize either seating or capacity. Best of all time electric towning and great for long distance travel. Lots of room, great viewing, and easy to enter and exit.

Model 3. Smaller, but still great lookng, 4 door sedan. Fantastic urban and long distance people mover. SuperCharger capable and smaller size better for urban use. Priced much less than any other Tesla, it has opened up the market place, with the largest pre order of any consumer item in history.

A tiny car will surely follow, but making those at a profit will take considerable skill. Don't think anyone is making profit off those micro cars yet, but there is a need and demand, but lots of things must fall into place first.

After the 3 will come a heavy duty freight hauling electric truck, a small SUV and a fresh 2 door ultra high performance sports car. Others may make a mini electric before Tesla, as they will not need to avail themselves of high speed supercharging that is a Tesla perk.

Rocky_H | 2017年6月26日

When people make these kinds of suggestions that Tesla should offer a car that's $10K or $15K, I usually just have to remind them that the battery pack by itself costs that much, before you even begin to build a car around it.

David N | 2017年6月26日

Cheap cars by Tesla?
Sorry to burst your bubble, but probably ain't happening (ever).
Thats kinda like saying a cheap Mercedes would attract a lot of new buyers in the low priced entry level.
Aint happening anytime soon.

eric.zucker | 2017年6月26日

My company has a Renault Kangoo ZE which is a pure electric, with 22kWh. I can barely make the round trip to the nearest airport. It's OK for errands around town, but you end up hunting for outlets anytime you can, not much fun.

There are smaller EVs with decent range. Renault Zoe is pretty nice, Bjorn Nyland gives the Hyundai Ioniq good reviews.

Tesla doesn't need to make compliance cars. I like the owner-centric view that Tesla adheres to, create an ecosystem, not just a vehicle. This said, smaller cars are easier to park downtown.

In a few years you will find second hand Model 3s on the market, they will be even more affordable too.

hoffmannjames | 2017年6月27日

Sorry but I don't think that Tesla should ever make a small, cheap city EV. It would go against the company's vision. After all, the whole point of Tesla has been to show that EV cars don't have to be small, ugly boxes on wheels with low range. And frankly, before Tesla showed up, EVs were horrible. Tesla changed everything by finally giving us an EV that drives great, has great range and looks stylish too. The fact is that the Model 3 is the perfect small, affordable EV. It is smaller than the S and affordable but still has style and excellent range. That's what an EV should be!

PhillyGal | 2017年6月27日

I think this will be achieved in another way.

Tesla continues to cater to the upper masses - those who can afford a new mid-sized car like the Model 3 and a smaller crossover, as well as to the pickup truck drivers and fleets of the world and so many will sell new that in a matter of a few years, the pipeline of used cars for <$20,000 will be full. What's better - once people realize a Tesla with 100,000 miles on the odometer is NOT equal to a gasoline powered car with 100,000 - they will be willing to buy them once they are very used.

RR_GreenP85Dee | 2017年6月27日

Elon mentioned a while back (a few weeks after M3 announcement) that he would make a cheaper car than the M3 for the masses, but he decided it wasn't a good idea a week or 2 after he mentioned it.

reed_lewis | 2017年6月27日

@David N - But Mercedes has a cheap car. It is called Smart. I own a gas one, and leased an Electric one for three years (turned it in when I got my Tesla Model S)

The Smart two seater is the perfect electric vehicle for daily commutes. It is small, easy to merge into traffic, and is fun to drive in that it is like driving a go-kart. The negative with the Smart is that the range is a measly 80 miles in great conditions. In winter it is more like 50 miles.

If they could put a 40 kWh battery into that (it has a 18.6 kWh battery), it would go ~200 miles. That would be a useful daily commuter car.

stevew737 | 2017年6月27日

I would not like someone, someday, pointing to an ultra cheap compliance looking car and saying...yup, that's a Tesla!

reed_lewis | 2017年6月27日

@ stevew737 - Why not? If Tesla can produce a car for every market and can have a vehicle which is sellable in every market, that is a great thing.

Is it because if Tesla produces an inexpensive vehicle, it lowers the 'image' that Tesla has? I beg to differ. Tesla's mission is to make every car an EV. There are many people who do not need an expensive car.

As an aside, the original Smart ED used Tesla technology. The battery was water cooled, and was well protected much like the Model S battery. So I could see Tesla selling the technology and hardware to a lower priced car and having it badged some other brand.

hoffmannjames | 2017年6月27日

@stevew737 +1 It will never happen. Elon Musk has made it very clear that Tesla will always produce fast, good looking cars. That is why even the affordable, mass market, Model 3 is still a fast, good looking car. It's at the core of Tesla's identity.

nadurse | 2017年6月27日

Someone else, probably Nissan, Ford,GM or an electric car company that doesnt really exist yet, will take the econobox low end of the market for electric vehicles once battery technology becomes more cost effective and ubiquitous.

Tesla will not make a cheap car. Also the advent of ride sharing will lower the cost of entry considerably especially in urban areas, this will be the cheapest way to get into a Tesla. In non-urban areas there will be the used car market if people want a cheaper Tesla. | 2017年6月27日

The smaller and less expensive the car, the lower the average income of the buyer who is therefore more likely to be a renter than a home owner. This takes away for the most part the huge advantage of being able to charge overnight at home. As solutions to high power charging show up more ubiquitously, driven by the increasing EV market, this will become more like driving your ICEV to a gas station but, for now, not so much.

Xerogas | 2017年6月27日

Yup, @nadurse, ride-sharing is the answer to OP's request. Change the paradigm entirely: why build a cheap 'affordable' EV that everyone can buy, if there's an even more affordable option in the form of Tesla's fleet of summonable shared cars? I know several millennials who use Uber because it's cheaper and more convenient than owning a car.

johnse | 2017年6月28日 As solutions to high power charging show up more ubiquitously, driven by the increasing EV market, this will become more like driving your ICEV to a gas station but, for now, not so much.

With FSD and the Tesla Network, it will be more like, "go make some money providing share rides, then go to the automated Supercharger and pick me up with a full charge at 7:15 in the morning"... | 2017年6月28日

@johnse: sounds great but not in my lifetime. (Caveat: I am very old)👴

NKYTA | 2017年6月28日

@george, I missed you once in FL, won't miss you again.

You'll get me into your golf club, and I'll beat your pants off you (based on handicap), and then I'll escort you to your Falcon Heavy across the way at the launch pad at Kennedy to meet up with Elon and his hab heading to Mars. :-)

vp09 | 2017年6月28日

Elon and those of you who have supported him are paving the way for cheap electric cars.

China will show us the way on that.

Elon's mission is not to build $4k electric cars (for the Indian market). But he is paving the way for others to do so. | 2017年6月29日

@george - 80 is not "very old". Merely older.

brando | 2017年6月29日

Cheapest electric car? The two wheeled version. Perhaps not the best nor safest nor quickest.

40kw pack just won't fit in Smart car, not yet anyway.

Dyson might make the smallest, safest, most efficient, but surely not the cheapest.

Shoes and bikes still the cheapest,

Owner2015 | 2017年6月29日

They already make cheep cars. The model s and X are very cheep cars. Sorry the build quality and materials in the cars are cheep but just charge a lot of money for it. Looking forward to the 3 hour quests on a tesla charger when the model 3 comes out and when we have to share the network with jaguar. | 2017年6月29日

We haven't seen cheap yet - wait until the Chinese start to offload junk cars to the US. Safety? What is that? Incompressible UI? - read the manual. Warranty? - only if serviced in China and during a full moon. Catches on fire? - that's by design to celebrate Chinese holidays! | 2017年6月29日

Do I detect an ethnic slur? Aren't iPhones made in China? ....

Never mind.

@NKYTA: you're on. I'll even supply the extra golf balls when you run out.⛳ 🏌

Incidentally, golf carts are small electric vehicles. I would love to have a set of Li-ion batteries in mine.(to stay on the theme of the thread)

brando | 2017年6月30日

TeslaTap, you could be talking about some of US automakers.
In the 60s no one thought Japan would ever make good cars.
And no one thought Korea could make cars.
GM made the EV1 and 20 years later we get the Bolt?
Things changing fast in China.

carlgo2 | 2017年6月30日

When batteries get real cheap it is possible Tesla might built a cheap car for developing nations, with a Gigafactory in India or Africa perhaps. They might do this to address the horrible pollution that comes from the crude vehicles in these places, with profits a secondary consideration. Some of these cars, moded up, might make it to the US. | 2017年6月30日

@georgehawley - Yep - perhaps a cheap shot. The Chinese can make some really good high quality products.

At the same time, the Chinese car industry seems as bad if not worse than the US automakers of the 60s and 70s. They will learn and could become major players outside of China, but I doubt it is going to be in 5 years. I'm not sure of all the causes in the vehicle market, but one is the low value on safety and reliability and high importance on low cost. This still sells well in the home market, but not so well in the US or Europe. Add to the lack of any sales or service network outside China, no brand identity, and low perceived value, it's going to be really tough.

My worry is the damage they could do to the entire EV industry if they put unsafe EVs on the road. In the race to make a cheap car, poorer quality batteries could yield the cost savings they want, but then some may catch fire like last year's hoverboards.

Watt fun | 2017年7月1日

Well, even the Kangoo and Zoe (and the 2018 Leaf) are getting battery upgrades, and more range, at still 'relatively affordable' prices, so never say never to long distance and inexpensive being impossible for an EV. The gap is narrowing all the time. I will say that the prototype/design study "Hot Hatch" 2 door Zoe with ??44 kWh?? might be a hot seller as a "GTI Killer" (LOL--wanted to riff on that for a long time)