Elon Musk gave a talk at CPUC last week with a lot of interesting info concerning the new battery factory and what it means for the upcoming Tesla Model E, the mass market vehicle expected to be released in 2017. The new Tesla Motors battery plant will have the capacity to produce roughly 500,000 cars per year, placing it squarely on the map as a major car company. Interestingly enough Tesla claimed last year that they were aspiring to produce cars with a $35,000 sticker price, and many couldn’t help but have smirking doubts about the feasibility of such a goal. After all, their cars were going for twice that amount. Before Tesla’s factory, this would have been a far cry from possible, but once the facility is built, thirty-five grand for a Tesla might in fact cross into the realm of reality.
The most notable details Musk has given about Model E is that it will have a 200 mile range and be 20% smaller than the current Model S. This means the battery needs to maintain 80% of the energy of the current Tesla Model S, according to Musk. The 60kWh Model S has a range of around 200 miles, which means the Tesla Model E would need at least a 48kWh battery. This puts it’s battery far ahead of the nearest competition.
- Tesla Model E – 200 miles – 48 kWh
- Chevy Spark EV – 82 miles – 21.3 kWh
- Nissan LEAF – 75 miles – 24 kWh
- Chevy Volt – gas/electric – 16 kWh
- BMW i3 – gas/electric – 18.8 kWh
Musk reiterated his plan for the more affordable future car as well, he mentioned at the end of his CPUC talk that he expects economies of scale and other innovations to help reduce the battery price another 30% which will bring the cost of a Tesla Model E to around 50% the cost of a Model S, or about $35,000.