Owning an electric car will become more affordable in the next few years according to electric vehicle (EV) specialists Tesla. The California-based carmaker has announced that they are planning on producing a cheaper EV to target the average household. Called the ‘Model 3’, price wise the car is anticipated to start at US$35,000 which is 50 percent cheaper than Tesla’s popular EV, the Model S. The Model 3 is expected to be revealed in early 2016 ready for pre-ordering, and Tesla hopes to have it production by 2017.
Up until now EV’s have been beyond most people’s budgets but Tesla hopes to change all that with the smaller, more economical Model 3. If the carmaker can indeed produce it on budget, it will be just a few thousand dollars more than the price of a normal new car. However, Tesla EV owners also need to invest in a home charging station that costs around US$750 excluding installation costs. This home charging station is expected to charge the Model 3 to 80 percent in about 30 minutes.
Since Tesla hasn’t released any design images or information about the Model 3’s features, interested parties will have to wait until closer to the official unveiling. However, some guesswork is inevitable and the following assumptions have been made based on the larger Model S, including:
- A driving range of 200 miles (320 km)
- A battery pack of 68 to 70 kWh
- May have optional design features
- May have a steel chassis to bring costs down
However, CEO of Tesla Elgin Musk has counterbalanced these assumptions by saying the Model 3 will be quite different from the Model S. “I really want the Model 3 to be different, not just a smaller Model S,” he says. According to Musk, the Model 3 will be “way different from any other car on the road… (but) in a way that’s really useful and just doesn’t feel like a weird-mobile.”
Critics have said that Tesla faces a huge challenge to balance all the factors of the Model 3: low cost, practicality, good looks and difference. It could also be marketed alongside EV’s from Nissan and General Motors and other carmakers by the time it goes on sale, which could add a cost competitive element to the proceedings.