Tesla CEO Elon Musk is well-known for his role in bringing the electric vehicle to the attention of the world. And while it has taken many years of hard work, Musk’s predictions about the cost of EVs have largely come true since the Roadster first entered production.
Musk noted a common tech trend early on: although buyers can expect to spend a lot when a product is new, that product also contributes to developing cheaper, more mass-produced versions down the road. Smartphones and laptops are just a few examples of devices now owned by most adults, though they were once available only to those who could afford them.
And so it goes with Tesla. Although the Roadster started at $109,000 when it was first introduced, Musk has defended this approach, saying that the expensive EV needed to happen so the automaker’s cars could someday be more affordable.
Musk defended the Roadster’s high price tag in 2008, saying that it would lead to cheaper cars in the future.
“Whenever somebody buys the Tesla Roadster, every penny that Tesla makes goes into development of lower-cost mass-market vehicles,” Musk said. “You can’t get to the low-cost cars unless you start with the expensive cars.”
A video from the day Roadster production began in 2008 shared by Tesla Owners Silicon Valley earlier this month shows Musk noting the differences between large auto companies like GM and Ford compared with Tesla.
Make no mistake: Tesla’s cars and most other EVs are still out of reach for many car buyers. But the trend of EVs becoming more affordable isn’t going to come to a halt, especially as competition creates more options for consumers and higher demand for EV supplies, leading to cheaper production.
And the trend of more affordable EVs is, in fact, likely to continue in the years to come, with most companies beginning to at least announce their first EVs.
Both Ford and GM are delivering early EV units, with Ford even splitting off its internal combustion engine business from its EVs to hopefully someday reach valuations like Tesla.
And while a $25,000 Tesla may not be in the cards for the near future, it’s only a matter of time before the automaker’s vehicles become even cheaper — unless another EV comes along that’s affordable enough for the average buyer.