elon musk cnn china

A few weeks after Tesla Director of Global Communications Khobi Brooklyn confirmed that “Model 3 is on schedule” and that the company still plans to unveil the prototype in March, it’s now Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s turn to share his thoughts about the upcoming $35,000 sedan and he says he feels “pretty optimistic” about the vehicle.

Musk made the comment while talking to CNN’s Kristie Lu Stout on Monday (see video below), he added:

“Actually, I do feel pretty optimistic about the Model 3. The key thing with the Model 3 is higher volume and lower price. It is a smaller car and without quite as many bells and whistles as the Model S or X, but the goal is to have a very compelling affordable and a mass market electric vehicle, and I feel pretty good about that goal.”

The comment about less “bells and whistles” is worrying a few potential buyers and message boards are already speculating about which features will not make the cut, but as we already reported, it is likely that the Model 3 will come with a sensor suite for automated driving.

The CEO also commented on the impact low gas prices have on the EV industry and more particularly on the Model 3:

“Even if the economics of oil favor gasoline, I think the Model 3 still does well. It’s more cases where there is little to no differentiation between the gasoline version of something and the electric version. If they’re about the same, and the electric version doesn’t have a compelling economic proposition, then you’ve got a real issue in the market.”

Musk is currently in the middle of a quick “media blitz” while in Hong Kong to participate in the StartmeupHK tech forum. In addition to the CNN interview, he share a few new information earlier this morning about how Tesla is doing in Hong Kong and mainland China, as well as the automaker’s future plans in the country.

Here’s an excerpt from the CNN interview:

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