Once the hullabaloo and frenzy around the Tesla Cybertruck and the updated Model 3 settles, Tesla enthusiasts’ focus will likely shift toward its upcoming affordable mass-market EV. A new report sheds light on the design direction the EV could follow, and how Tesla conceived the project.
Axios had exclusive access to excerpts from Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s upcoming biography written by American author and journalist Walter Isaacson.
Musk was apparently so adamant about building an autonomous robotaxi – with no pedals and steering wheel – that his deputies had to convince him in a “non-challenging way” of the need to build an inexpensive “global car” to thrust the brand into achieving an ambitious 50 percent annual growth target, the excerpts suggested.
Tesla's design boss Franz von Holzhausen and a few others convinced Musk to build both, a $25,000 global EV, and a robotaxi on a next-generation engineering platform and the same assembly lines, potentially to reduce manufacturing complexities, rationalize costs, and make the end product affordable.
Several reports have highlighted Tesla’s focus on revolutionizing manufacturing using methods like giga casting, which many carmakers have adopted. The report highlighted how Musk loved both design concepts, which sported futuristic styling like the Cybertruck.
Tesla confirmed the $25,000 EV during its Battery Day event in 2020, with an initial schedule of introducing it this year. The delay is likely due to the brand's focus on ramping up Model Y production, bringing the Cybertruck and the refreshed Model 3 to life, and advancing its FSD development.
While there’s no official revised timeline for the $25,000 Tesla EV, stock analysts predicted early this year that Tesla might unveil it in 2024. The brand might initially manufacture its next-generation EVs in Austin at the Gigafactory Texas, before possibly shifting production to its 4200-acre under-construction plant in Santa Catarina, Mexico.
Musk’s other bold claims from the biography include boosting production capacity to “20 million a year,” and transforming Tesla into a “10 trillion company.”
Note: The featured rendering is only for representation, and might not accurately preview the upcoming EV's design.