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Next New Tesla Sedan Will Be Smaller, Less Expensive, In 2016

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2013 Tesla Model S

2013 Tesla Model S

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Electric-car startup Tesla Motors has been in the news a lot lately.

In the last few months, it achieved its first profitable quarter, delivered more plug-in electric cars than any other maker (Nissan and Chevy included) from January through March, and issued more than $1 billion of new capital--some of which it used to pay off its entire U.S. Department of Energy loan.

Last night at its annual shareholder meeting, Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed a few more details of the company's future product plan.

Joining its current Model S all-electric luxury sport sedan late next year will be the Model X crossover utility vehicle, with its top-lifting "falcon doors" and available all-wheel drive.

But it's the next generation of Tesla vehicles that are most intriguing, and Musk offered up a few tidbits about them as well.

"What the world really needs is a great, affordable electric car," Musk said in an interview with Bloomberg.

"I’m not going to let anything go, no matter what people offer, until I complete that mission.”

To that end, Tesla's third-generation car (known as Blue Star), will smaller--about the size of a BMW 3-Series--and about half the price of the Model S, which starts at $69,900.

Musk said the new sedan would have a range of about 200 miles, for a price various cited as $30,000 or less than $40,000--which may reflect the effect of the $7,500 Federal income-tax credit buyers will receive.

The new, smaller Tesla will continue to use lithium-ion cells from Panasonic, one of several companies that has a minority stake in Tesla Motors. But they'll be of a new and more advanced chemistry designed specifically for use in electric cars.

The styling will bear a family resemblance to the Model S, Musk noted.

It's a long time until fall 2016, when the car is expected to go into production as a 2017 model.

And Tesla has many hurdles to cross before then.

But that hasn't stopped the growing number of U.S. electric-car owners (100,000 as of last month) and fans from speculating about the less expensive Tesla sedan.

Look for more of the same over the next four years.

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Comments (5)
  1. yeah, baby......
     
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  2. Unlimited range is coming. When it arrives most future cars are likely to be electric. The reason is that such cars will be mobile power plants.

    They will be able to sell substantial electricity to utilities when suitably parked. Such cars and trucks may pay for themselves as investments.

    See www.aesopinstitute.org for a few examples of breakthrough technologies now being born that will make that possible.

    Imagine the positive impact on the Company and the economy!
     
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  3. Checked out the website, it's a load of pseudoscientific BS, set up to get money in the form of donations by making impossible promises and overhyped scares. There are better things to invest in.
     
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  4. why reinvent the whole car? K.I.S.S. JUST THE POWER TRAIN!SAVE LOTS OF MONEY. GIVE US A BREAK!
     
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  5. Resurrect the GM EV1, install a more modern electric drivetrain from Tesla. Then we will have a Sub $40k electric car worth having. For extended trips, a small aerodynamic enclosed trailer with a fossil-fueled generator can be used. Have a 110/220 volt output and now the generator can serve as a backup for a home. These power trailers may also be available for a short term rental/lease.
     
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