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Tesla’s $25,000 electric car could be coming sooner than we thought

Tesla’s recently announced $25,000 electric car could be coming sooner than we thought, according to newly unveiled documents about Gigafactory Shanghai.

Tesla’s $25,000 electric car

When talking about what Tesla’s new battery cell and “structural battery pack” architecture could enable at Battery Day last year, CEO Elon Musk announced that Tesla will be making a $25,000 electric car.

The CEO commented in the announcement:

Tesla will make a compelling $25,000 electric vehicle that is also fully autonomous.

He made it clear that this new price point is achieved through Tesla’s new battery cell and battery manufacturing effort.

Musk also added that the new $25,000 electric car is going to come to market in about three years, when Tesla has ramped up production of its new battery cell.

Tesla didn’t reveal any other spec on the car, but Musk has previously hinted that it would have more than 200 miles of range.

Cheaper Tesla electric car could be coming sooner

The new $25,000 Tesla has been linked to the previously announced plan to launch a new electric car designed and built in China.

According to new Gigafactory Shanghai documents submitted to the government, Tesla is planning to add a cheaper third model to be produced at Gigafactory Shanghai as soon as 2022 (via Weibo and translated from Chinese):

According to the Tesla Gigafactory construction project document exposed on the Internet, Tesla’s new domestic models will be directly produced in the Shanghai Gigafactory. The positioning and selling price will be lower than its Model 3, and the price of the new car is expected to remain unchanged. Between RMB 160,000 and RMB 200,000, mass production and delivery may be as early as 2022.

Note that 160,000 Chinese yuan is exactly $24,755 USD, and 2022 is a little earlier than what was previously announced.

However, we know that work has started on the new electric vehicle.

Tesla started taking design submissions for its Chinese-made small electric car last summer and started hiring for the program shortly after.

Electrek‘s take: a game changer, but let’s temper expectations

I would take this report with a grain of salt for now.

If true, it’s a game changer. Tesla being able to produce a $25,000 electric car in volume in 2022 would be extremely disruptive in the auto industry.

On the other hand, they need to significantly ramp up 4680 battery cell production to build the vehicle, and the new structural battery pack design could be hard to bring to production considering it’s a brand-new way to build cars.

Personally, I think late-2023 or 2024 is more likely, but I could be pleasantly surprised, especially considering how quick Tesla’s Chinese team has been in the past.

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