Tesla, like other car manufacturers, has a strong focus on expensive electric vehicles (EVs).
Elon Musk, the CEO, has long talked about creating an affordable car, mentioning a $25K vehicle in the first Master Plan in 2006. However, the latest 2023 Master Plan conveniently omits any mention of it.
According to a new book, executives convinced Musk to build a $25K car similar to the Cybertruck, alongside a robotaxi. While the robotaxi seems likely, Tesla is bluffing about the production of a $25K EV, also known as the “Model 2” by analysts.
Tesla is currently prioritizing the Cybertruck and ramping up production of the refreshed Model 3, leaving little attention for an affordable car.
Interestingly, the refreshed Model 3 Highland has become less affordable, contrary to widespread expectations of a price reduction. In Europe, the Model 3 Highland costs $45,500, an increase over the $44,430 price of the existing Model 3. North American pricing information is not yet available.
Despite this, Tesla enthusiasts argue that the $25K Tesla is still on its way. Tesla fans point to developments at the Austin Gigafactory aimed at building better cars more efficiently. However, it’s unlikely that these advancements will result in a $25K car anytime soon.
While Tesla is focused on cost-cutting, it doesn’t necessarily mean cheaper cars. The ultimate goal is profitability.
To lower the prices of its US vehicles, Tesla relies on federal tax credits and state rebates. These rebates vary across states, change over time, and are not permanent.
The rebates are substantial in many states. In California, combined state and federal rebates amount to roughly $15,000 per vehicle, according to Forbes. When these incentives invariably run out, Tesla prices will spike rather than plummet.
Alternatively, there are genuinely affordable EVs such as the Chevy Bolt. This popular hatchback starts at a price below $30,000 and qualifies for the same tax incentives and discounts as the Model 3.
If you’re still skeptical and holding out for a $25,000 Tesla after all this time, that’s understandable. However, in reality, car buyers worldwide are opting for loans to purchase the $40,000 Model 3 or the upcoming (and more expensive) Model Y refresh.