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Tesla puts ‘$25,000 electric car’ codenamed NV9 on back burner despite what Elon Musk said

Electrek can confirm that Tesla indeed put its upcoming ‘$25,000 electric car, sometimes referred to as ‘Model 2’, on the back burner despite what Elon Musk said.

The project was codenamed NV9 (91-92).

Tesla has been working on its ‘next-generation vehicle platform’ that is expected to enable much cheaper electric vehicles. The automaker has previously talked about two upcoming vehicles on the platform:

  • a model cheaper and smaller than Model 3, sometimes being referred as the “$25,000 Tesla” or “Model 2”
  • Tesla Robotaxi: a new vehicle designed from the ground-up for self-driving.

A few weeks ago, Reuters reported that “Tesla has canceled the long-promised inexpensive car”.

CEO Elon Musk quickly denied the report:

As usual, there’s more to the story. It’s likely that Musk’s blanket denial of the report is due to Reuters claiming that the vehicle was “scrapped” and “canceled”.

Electrek can confirm that the program, which was internally called ‘NV9’, was postponed, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Musk might take issues with claiming that it is “canceled”, but the project is effectively scratched right now as Tesla is putting all resources into its self-driving effort.

According to sources familiar with the matter, Musk told Tesla’s team in Austin in December 2023 that NV9, an expansion of Gigafactory Texas for the new cheaper next-gen model, was a priority for 2024.

However, the project was recently completely defunded, and many people involved in it were laid off as part of the round of layoffs announced today.

Instead, Musk said that he wanted Tesla to focus on the south expansion of Gigafactory Texas, which is going to house a giant data center for the Robotaxi project (NV93).

According to people familiar with the project, it is already behind schedule, and there’s serious doubt that it can be completed by the end of August, which is the timeline Musk has been pushing for.

Shortly after denying the report that the cheaper model was canceled, Musk announced that Tesla would unveil its Robotaxi on August 8th.

Electrek’s Take

Top comment by HalfwitWizard

Liked by 71 people

A budget EV from Tesla would be an obvious home run. Do they really think a driverless uber alternative or low volume roadsters are the right things to focus on?

View all comments

I have been saying it for a while now. Elon, mister truth seeker, is not above stretching the truth and being misleading. This is a great example.

While we can argue all day about the words scrapped, canceled, postponed, or put on the back-burner, there was certainly more truth than falsehood in that original report.

Effectively, Tesla is not working on this NV9 project anymore, and it is focusing on Robotaxi instead. That’s the truth, which you wouldn’t know if you just read Elon’s denial of the report and moved on. That seems to be Elon’s goal lately, with his constant attacks on the media.

They don’t get everything right, which is impossible to do, so you focus on what they get wrong to bury what they got right but you don’t want people to know.

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Avatar for Fred Lambert Fred Lambert

Fred is the Editor in Chief and Main Writer at Electrek.

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