When Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, revealed the second master plan of the company, the $35,000 Model 3 depicted the price floor. It was not set in stone, however, people could not realistically anticipate more. But the dream of a truly affordable Tesla EV may just be a little more tangible. When Marques Brownlee, a tech YouTuber, asked Musk during an interview regarding room for a lower-cost Tesla, the executive revealed that his firm would likely build a $25,000 car in approximately three years “if we work really hard.” To be clear, this was not perceived as a promise of a car at that price point but Musk saw that the vehicle was possible through a combination of both economies of scale and technical achievements.
He compared it to the improvement of the cellphone from the clunky, limited cellphone from Wall Street to the modern smartphones. Musk said that it took many iterations to get there. He said that people need sheer manufacturing volume and demand to lower the price. This is part of why people can’t purchase a Model 3 for $35,000 just yet. The technology finally arrived last year, however, the manufacturing scale still is not large enough for Tesla to make money on every car at that price point.
The chat with Brownlee gave a few extra tidbits. As an example, the rear-view mirrors of the next-generation Roadster may not be mandatory. Musk assumed that manufacturers were required to include them, but owners were not as people could theoretically take them off at the track to improve their aerodynamics. The Tesla CEO also described the upcoming Track Mode of the Model 3 as more of a general “expert user mode” where people will be allowed to fine-tune various performance characteristics to their liking, not just shift to a pre-set advanced configuration. The worst may be over for Tesla, but it still has a lot on its plate in the near term and the long run.