An entry-level electric Tesla hatchback is on the way, aimed squarely at the Volkswagen ID.3 and MG 4
by: Steve Walker, Alastair Crooks
17 May 2023
A more affordable addition to Tesla’s four-strong model line up has been in the works for some time, as the firm aims to lower the price of entry to its range of EVs. Now a new official teaser image of the car has been released at the2023 Tesla Annual Shareholder Meeting in the US.
The car, which could be known as the Tesla Model 2 when it finally arrives, may even be part of a pair with a similar close technical relationship to that of the Model 3 and Model Y. At the shareholder event Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, stated that: “There are two new products that I think you’ll be very excited about. Both the design of the products and the manufacturing techniques are head and shoulders above anything else that is present in the industry".
‘Elon Musk can afford to charge less for Teslas’
Musk was widely expected make an official announcement on the Tesla 'Model 2' at the Tesla Investor Day event in March 2023 but in the end viewers and attendees were given a series of insights into new Tesla technology that will eventually feature on a "next-generation model". Now we have a teaser image showing the curving roofline of a car with similar design cues to those of the existing Model Y.
Musk explained that:“People always want to know what our next product is. We obviously need to have a proper dedicated product launch. I just want to emphasise that we are actually building a new product, we are actually designing a new product – we’re not sitting on our hands here.”
Tesla 'Model 2' plans
Thenew 'baby Tesla' has previously been teased in a social media videothat hinted at the new car’s design with a series of sketches. We’ve also seen an image of its bare bodyshell, a potential hint that Tesla’s more efficient, more affordable small-car platform (which will incorporate learnings from the Model 3 and Y) will be a major part of the firm’s self-proclaimed ‘master plan’.
Previously, Musk has told shareholders that the next stage of his plan would be “fundamentally about scaling”. This is likely to involve battery supply and production. The 2023 Investor Day event revealed details of innovative new production techniques and plansfor car batteries that contain no precious metals.
There is a clearfocus within the company on measures that reduce complexity and make it easier and cheaper for Tesla to build vehicles - this could extend to a fully structural battery pack built-in to the framework of the car and would also tally with the desire for a more affordable, higher volume model. Musk said at the 2023 Shareholder Meeting that“[My] guess is that we’ll make in excess of five million units a year of these two products combined,” So a more affordable, shorter range EV to sell in big numbers certainly seems to be on the adgenda.
Baby Tesla: what we know so far
Tesla ended 2022 without delivering either its much-delayedCybertruck or thenew Roadster, although we're promised Cybertruck deliveries will start in 2023 and the Roadster will arrive in 2024. Despite this, the company is already putting fresh focus on the development of a smaller, cheaper model that could play a bigger role in mass EV adoption.
Last year saw Tesla topping sales charts in key global regions, ramping up its production rate and putting its three millionth car down the line. And now Musk appears to have decided that the time is right to push for greater affordability.
At a recent financial results briefing, he told analysts: “We’ve done the engineering for the Cybertruck andSemi [Tesla’s lorry], so you can guess what we’re working on, which is the next-generation vehicle that will be about half the cost of the Model 3 and Y platform. It will be smaller, to be fair, but I think it will shortly exceed production of all our other vehicles combined.”
Cutting the cost of construction in half doesn’t necessarily mean the baby Tesla could slice the current list price of a Model 3 (from around £43,000) in two. But it’s safe to say that the sub-Model 3 vehicle could feasibly start at around the £30,000 mark.
That would open Tesla’s potential market up considerably, giving the company a rival for European-made electric hatchbacks such asVolkswagen’sID.3, and even Chinese models from the likes ofMG andBYD.
Baby Tesla exclusive images
Our exclusive images interpret Tesla’s existing line-up and teaser images in a scaled-down format, to show how a baby Tesla 'Model 2' model could look. Judging from the fresh batch of teaser design sketches, the new car could borrow plenty of design language from the Model Y (which in turn aped the Model 3 a fair amount).
It should be positioned as a rival for conventionalfamily hatchbacks, with a length of around 4.4 metres. That could be achieved through a more aggressive rear roofline, while still allowing a conventional bonnet with luggage space beneath it.
Despite speculation referring to the car as the Model 2, this badge is by no means guaranteed to be used – not least because Model 3 was chosen as a reverse of Model E, whichFord originally warned Tesla off using.
Musk admitted that the cheaper, smaller model is now the top target for Tesla’s engineers. “We don’t want to talk exact [launch] dates,” he said, “but this [new model] is the primary focus of our new-vehicle development team. We’re going to take everything we learned from [Models]S,X, 3 and Y, the Cybertruck and the Semi into that platform. We’re trying to get to that 50 per cent number again.”
That’s a reference to the Model Y, whose bare construction costs significantly less than the Model 3’s. Tesla used improved processes to cut huge amounts of complexity out of the Y; a fresh pair of larger stamped components in its bodyshell alone do the job of 171 separate parts in the Model 3, for example, saving more than 1,600 welds during manufacturing. Recent rumours suggest Tesla is now working on integrating these gains into a revised Model 3, in a project codenamed Highland.
Battery technology crucial in cutting prices
Tesla’s ability to make the new smaller car cheaply enough is all but certain to hinge on its choice of battery chemistry and how the cells are installed. The company has already used lithium-iron phosphate cells (LFP), which are cheaper to produce than nickel manganese cobalt (NMC).
Top 10 best small cars to buy 2023
The manufacturer is currently using LFP in some of its vehicles, and this is likely to form a key part of the cheaper model’s technical make-up – along with a novel installation. The firm is said to be preparing to roll out ‘cell-to-chassis’ technology on German-built Model Ys, as part of a tie-up with China’s BYD. Lighter and more compact than conventional module-based construction, this technique saves yet more space that can be used for additional cells to help redress LFP’s lower energy density and deliver comparable range.
Musk believes that Tesla can take its recently achieved three-million-cars milestone and expand it to a tally of more than 100 million vehicles on roads by the end of the decade. To achieve this, he says the firm will need “roughly a dozen factories”, and while the original plant in California is “just running out of room”, most of the facilities would be capable of making up to two million cars per year.
A smaller, more affordable model is almost certainly a key factor in this ambition – so even if a newcomer does arrive after the Roadster and the Cybertruck, we could see it on roads by 2025.
Now check out our list of the best small electric cars on sale right now...
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Is A Tesla a hatchback? ›
Overview. The car that kickstarted the EV revolution is starting to show its age. While the 2023 Tesla Model S falls behind newly developed rivals with more over-the-top features and longer driving ranges, the sedan-like hatchback continues to be competitive.What is the smallest Tesla? ›
The Model 3 is the cheapest (and smallest) Tesla. It's still way more expensive than some electric cars, though, including the Cupra Born and MG4. How much will a Tesla Model 3 cost in the UK? Tesla cut its prices in early 2023, and the Model 3 now undercuts rivals such as the Hyundai Ioniq 6 and Polestar 2.What is the out the door price of Tesla Model 3 Performance? ›
Add the same available upgrades mentioned above, including full self-driving capabilities and the new Long Range Model 3 can cost you $66,740. Lastly, the Performance version of the Model 3 starts significantly lower in 2023 than it was in 2022, at an MSRP of $53,240.Will Tesla have a Model 2? ›
The Model 2 will undoubtedly mark a significant milestone in Tesla's Master Plan and the global transition toward cleaner transportation. With no official release date yet, anticipation is high for the arrival of this exciting model that could revolutionize the electric vehicle market.How many miles is the Tesla hatchback? ›
The yet-to-be-named Tesla hatchback, once on sale, will directly take on rivals such as the Volkswagen ID. 3, Nissan Leaf and Kia e-Niro. It is expected to be powered by a 50 kWh battery pack offering 250 miles (402 km) of range.How fast is Tesla hatchback? ›
Chat with a Tesla Advisor to learn more about Model 3. Includes Pirelli P Zero tires and more powerful brakes for enhanced handling and performance. Enhanced aerodynamics and improved stability at speeds up to 162 mph.What is the cheapest Tesla you can own? ›
- Tesla Model 3. Image Credit: Tesla. The Tesla Model 3 is a battery-powered sedan that's currently the most inexpensive of all Tesla models. ...
- Tesla Model Y. Image Credit: Tesla. ...
- Tesla Model S. Image Credit: Tesla.
The Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive is currently Tesla's least expensive model for sale. Starting at $42,990, the 2023 Tesla Model 3 RWD packs a serious punch, especially considering its EPA-rated range of 272 miles.What is Tesla most cheapest car? ›
|Tesla Model S||Rs. 70.00 Lakh|
|Tesla Model 3||Rs. 70.00 Lakh|
For example, a 2022 Model Y Long Range that was involved in a front collision and listed by IAA in early January had a retail price of $61,388 and an estimated repair cost of $50,388. Another Model Y that suffered a side collision had a retail price of $72,667 and an estimated repair cost of $43,814.
Are Teslas expensive to repair? ›
Are Teslas expensive to fix? Yes, Tesla vehicles are quite expensive to fix. According to RepairPal, the average yearly Tesla maintenance cost is about $832 per year. The average among all car brands was a much lower $652 per year.How much does it cost to repair a scratch on a Tesla? ›
The price range for tesla scratch repair is, roughly between $150 and $2500. There would be a minimum charge of $150 for superficial scratches and a maximum charge of $2500 for extensive paint blemishes. Depending on the severity of the damage, repairing a Tesla's paint might cost as much as $3500.How much is the cheapest Tesla Model 2? ›
Model 2 priced at US$22,000 may look like smaller Model Y as Tesla plans for 2 million production rate at Giga Mexico. Production of Tesla's cheapest Model 2 electric vehicle will reportedly be split between North America, Shanghai, and Giga Berlin, with initial preparation for 4 million units.Will Model 2 be a hatchback? ›
All-new Tesla Model 2 hatchback will debut new battery and motor technology, and be the brand's cheapest car by a huge margin...What range will the Tesla Model 2 have? ›
In terms of range, a figure of around 250 miles seems likely. The Model 2 will have a much smaller battery than the Model 3, but it will still be competitive with the likes of the ID.Are Tesla charging stations free? ›
In most cases, Tesla charging isn't free.
If you do have any free Supercharging miles available, they'll show up in your Tesla account. Destination charging is usually free, though.
As you can see, several factors contribute to the decrease in car prices by 2023. From decreased demand and increased competition among automakers to technological advances, buyers will have plenty of options when it comes time to purchase a new vehicle this year — and at an affordable price!How many years will a Tesla battery last? ›
warranty coverage. On Twitter, Elon Musk explained that Tesla car batteries should last for 300,000 to 500,000 miles or 1,500 battery charge cycles. That's between 22 and 37 years for the average car driver, who, according to the Department of Transportation (DOT), drives 13,476 miles per year.What car does Elon Musk drive? ›
What kind of car is Elon Musk driving? Tesla Model S is the car Musk drives the most. It is one of Tesla's most comfortable and spacious cars. It also has an impressive range of up to 405 miles and accelerates from 0-60mph in 2.4 seconds.What is best Tesla model? ›
|Choose this Tesla…||If you want…|
|Model Y||The best Tesla overall|
|Model 3||The best affordable Tesla|
|Model X Plaid||The best luxury Tesla|
|Model S Plaid||The fastest Tesla|
Will Tesla cars get cheaper? ›
Production is expected to have risen as the automaker ramped up production at new factories in Texas and Berlin, and as China production recovered from a COVID-19 lockdown hit. Analysts expect Tesla to further lower prices as many automakers have matched the price cuts and concerns about a weakening economy persist.Should I buy a Tesla now or wait 2023? ›
Here's what we recommend. Tesla just did some drastic price cuts. Now is the perfect time to buy your 2023 Tesla Model Y if you are in the market for one. The Tesla Model Y long range is $52,990 as a base price and if you buy it before March 2023, the price becomes $45,490.How much is a battery for a Tesla? ›
Typically, depending on the car, the most basic battery replacement in Tesla costs between $5,000 and $20,000. For the Model S premium sedan, replacing a Tesla battery costs around $13,000-$20,000. Model 3 entry-level sedan and Model X premium SUV battery replacement can cost at least $13,000 and $14,000, respectively.Will Tesla increase price in 2023? ›
Pricing on the Model S and X increased by $2500, with three years of free Supercharging added for customers who take delivery before June 30, 2023. Tesla has changed pricing figures on its two flagship models, this time upping prices of the 2023 Model S and '23 Model X by $2500 each.Are Tesla's reliable? ›
Consumer Reports recently published its updated reliability report pertaining to the most unreliable electric vehicles on the market today. As has been the case in the past, the Tesla Model S and Tesla Model X are both on the top 10 list.What is the cheapest Tesla vs most expensive? ›
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A Tesla SUV is a great choice for an eco-conscious family vehicle! The cheapest Tesla SUV is going to be the compact Model Y. Depending on your location, the starting MSRP for a Tesla Model Y SUV is around $65,990, plus a $1,200 destination fee.Do Teslas need repairs often? ›
Unlike gasoline cars, Tesla vehicles require no traditional oil changes, fuel filters, spark plug replacements or emission checks. Even brake pad replacements are rare because regenerative braking returns energy to the battery, significantly reducing wear on the brakes.Do Tesla's dent easily? ›
Just like the Model 3, the Tesla Model Y is very prone to receive door dings and dents on its side panels.Can a crashed Tesla be repaired? ›
Tesla owns and operates Body Repair Centres that offer full structural repair services for all Tesla vehicles, including glass repair and replacement.
Why is Tesla insurance so high? ›
Why are Teslas so expensive to insure? Tesla cars are expensive to insure because they are expensive to buy and repair. Teslas have especially high collision coverage costs due to their high repair and maintenance costs, which are more expensive than other luxury or electric vehicles.What is the downside of owning a Tesla? ›
Steep price – "The initial investment for a Tesla can be steep," he notes. Prices for a base model start at about $40,000 and go up to well over $120,000. Charging can take time – A full charge can take 30-60 minutes at a Tesla Supercharger compared to about 5 minutes for a gas-powered vehicle.Does Tesla need special tires? ›
Choose a Tesla-approved tire which is designed specifically for your vehicle. Most Tesla-approved tires can be identified with a Tx specification (for example, T0, T1, T2). Tesla-approved tires are designed to reduce road noise and optimize handling, ride, and range.Can you repair a Tesla at home? ›
There are several basic maintenance procedures you can do yourself, without the need to schedule a service appointment. For step-by-step instructions on self-service procedures for your Tesla vehicle, select the corresponding Do It Yourself Guide.Does Tesla fix minor scratches? ›
Tesla Service Centers can perform collision repairs, from paint scuffs or scratches to minor dents in bolt-on body panels. To schedule an appointment at a Tesla Service Center, login to the Tesla app and select 'Collision Repair' from the Service Menu.How to get money for a Tesla? ›
You can purchase a Tesla vehicle by securing a loan with a Tesla financier or a third-party lender over the terms of 36 to 72 months. Tesla lending is only available for approved applicants depending on state. You can also purchase a Tesla vehicle by paying upfront in cash.Is Tesla making a 25k car? ›
The $25,000 electric vehicle is coming, with big implications for the auto market and car buyers. Tesla claims it will cut manufacturing costs in its next models by 50%.How many cars will Tesla make in 2024? ›
Tesla plans to make 50,000 Semis by next year, but how will that ramp? I think we can expect that it will be slow in 2023 and accelerate in 2024. So, it might be a couple thousand in 2023 and 48,000 in 2024.Will Tesla Model 2 have autopilot? ›
Each new Tesla vehicle is equipped with eight external cameras and powerful vision processing to provide an additional layer of safety. All vehicles built for the North American market now use our camera-based Tesla Vision to deliver Autopilot features, rather than radar. Autopilot comes standard on every new Tesla.Where will Model 2 be made at? ›
Tesla is devising an ambitious production capacity plan, with the North American Gigafactory slated to produce 2 million vehicles, while the Berlin factory in Germany and the Lingang factory in Shanghai will each handle 1 million vehicles.
What hatchback model means? ›
“A sedan is a 4-door passenger car with a separate trunk built on a three-box body, while a hatchback is a 4-door vehicle assembled on a two-box body with a tailgate that flips up. ”Is Tesla a sedan or hatchback? ›
Tesla Model 3 models. The 2023 Tesla Model 3 is a small all-electric sedan that's available in three trim levels: base, Long Range and Performance.Is Tesla a saloon or hatchback? ›
Tesla cars are known for being very quick and the Model S Plaid – the high-performance version of the Model S – is one of the fastest saloon cars in the world. It's mind-blowing stuff, with a top speed of 200mph and the ability to accelerate from 0-60mph in less than two seconds – faster than any Ferrari.What type of car is a Tesla? ›
What is Tesla? Tesla is an electric vehicle (EV) maker located in Palo Alto, California. Its goal is to produce electric cars that are either premium or affordable for everyday consumers.What kind of car is Tesla considered? ›
Given all its technological features, a Tesla is absolutely considered to be a luxury car. While they may not look like much from the outside, it's more so about what's inside than anything. In fact, Tesla has some features that most automakers do not.