Tesla’s new budget hatchback EV may be the first to use the next-generation platform and should be revealed very soon.
Tesla could soon reveal an all-new model, judging by this latest batch of teaser images from the American firm. Tesla boss Elon Musk had previously said that there’ll be a major announcement at Tesla’s next Investor Day on 1 March.
Fresh speculation that the EV brand will reveal more details about its planned cheaper model were boosted with a new social media video which teased a new model with some design sketches.
Plans for a new entry-level Tesla model have been in the works for some time and some of the teaser sketches in the video have already been released as far back as 2020. The new car will give Tesla a rival for cheaper EVs from Korean and Chinese manufacturers, such as the Hyundai Kona Electric and Kia Niro EV.
We’ve also seen a previous image of bare car body shells, a potential hint that Tesla’s more efficient, more affordable small-car platform (which will incorporate learnings from the Model 3 and Y) will be a major part of the next phase of the firm’s self-proclaimed ‘Master plan’.
Previously, Musk has told shareholders that the next stage of his plan would be “fundamentally about scaling”. This is likely to involve battery supply and production, but as we have already outlined, it is also likely to focus on construction techniques that reduce complexity and make it easier and cheaper for Tesla to build vehicles – this could extend to a fully structural battery pack.
Previously tipped to go on sale in 2023, a starting price in the US of around $25,000 (AUD$37,000) has been suggested for the hatchback – but Tesla’s models typically cost slightly more outside of its homeland.
For this price, a range of 400km from a 50kWh battery (its smallest pack so far) has been tipped as the firm takes a stab at the VW ID 3, Nissan Leaf and Kia e-Niro.
The new hatchback will allegedly be produced in China, as reported by Teslarati, with Tesla China posting a job offering to prospective factory workers on a poster showing the same nameless compact hatchback.
Tesla currently offers four cars in its range; the Model S, Model X, Model 3 and Model Y, which each came to market in 2012, 2016, 2017 and 2019 respectively. These all use Tesla’s soon-to-be-replaced second-generation platform