After today's drama with Reuters announcing that the $25,000 affordable Tesla was dead, and CEO Elon Musk responding by saying that the report was a lie, there’s a new development. Just hours later, Musk posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, that the autonomous Tesla Robotaxi will be revealed on August 8, 2024.

It goes without mentioning that this is a monumental development. Its roots were sown in 2016 when Tesla first revealed plans to make a self-driving people carrier. Details have mostly been scarce. But a "Robotaxi Concept" featured in Walter Isaacson's biography of Musk, along with some early sketches of a "gen 3" vehicle.

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The Tesla Robotaxi is happening.

Elon Musk has raved about Tesla's robotaxi for years. A cutting-edge self-driving people carrier that would revolutionize mobility, in his view. It was also one of the reasons that investors were betting big on Tesla. We didn't know if it ever would become a reality, but now Musk has put a date on it. It's arriving this summer, folks.  

According to the book, Musk was adamant about creating an autonomous robotaxi without pedals or a steering wheel. But his deputies persuaded him to develop an affordable "global car" to drive the brand towards achieving a lofty 50% annual growth target, without challenging his stance.

We've known for a while that the robotaxi and the affordable mass-market EV have the same platform. But little is known about the overlap between the two in terms of design and engineering. With the robotaxi's reveal announced before the affordable Tesla, it's unclear if the latter will ever be a reality—especially since sources familiar with the matter have told Reuters that the low-cost family car has been scrapped.


Messaging from the company remains muddled and confusing. Two years ago, Tesla executives hinted that the affordable EV might arrive before the robotaxi. But the man at the top might have pulled rank to reverse that possibility.

Either way, Musk's big announcement was probably in response to the Reuters report from this morning. We don't know for sure, but soon after his post, Tesla stock climbed some 3% after dipping earlier in the day.

The next-generation Tesla would be critical for the company since investors have been weary about the brand's business lately. Tesla share prices have been down some 33% since the start of the year. The company's Q1 sales were largely underwhelming, showing the first negative decline in years. The threat of rivals catching up and cheap Chinese EVs penetrating the U.S. looms large.

To tackle this storm, several experts have said the $25,000 EV should have arrived even before the Cybertruck—a hulking steel triangle that isn't exactly designed to democratize EVs. But it seems like Musk is going ahead with the robotaxi plan. How that pans out for the brand is something we'll know in a few months.

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