Tesla CTO: Model 3 To Be Offered As Sedan And Crossover


Tesla Model 3 Platform To Also Offer A Crossover  (render via Stumpf Studio)

Tesla Model 3 Platform To Also Offer A Crossover (Model 3 render via Stumpf Studio)

Tesla’s chief technical officer JB Straubel, while speaking at the EIA Energy Conference in Washington DC, said that the company looks to sell 500,000 electric vehicles a year by the end of this decade.

Tesla Model 3 Price Target Is $35,000 Before Incentives, $45,000 For The Crossover?

Tesla Model 3 Price Target Is $35,000 Before Incentives, $45,000 For The Crossover?

The bulk of these sales will come from the Model 3 platform, which is expected to launch in late 2017.

However in order to get there, Mr. Straubel also confirmed at the conference that the 200+ mile, $35,000 sedan is also being cross-developed with an upcoming crossover variant as well.

Given that Tesla’s primary base of sales is the United States, and that American’s are growing less and less found of the passenger car, the Model 3 crossover is a necessary offering to push sales higher.

So far in 2015, 7,044,585 light vehicles have been sold in the US, with only 46% of those being cars.

Light duty trucks – 3,779,912
Passenger cars – 3,264,673

Of those 3.77 million light duty trucks sold through May,  2,431,284 of them were Crossovers/SUVs.  Breaking down sales trends for 2015 even further, the growing dominance of the crossover/SUV platform in the US over the common car is even more clear.

Crossover/SUVs  +12.6%
Light duty trucks   +10.0%
Passenger cars  -1.3%

Tesla Gigafactory Will Help Drive Down The Cost For The Company's Future EVs

Tesla Gigafactory Will Help Drive Down The Cost For The Company’s EVs “Beyond” The Model 3

The CTO also stressed from the EIA in Washington D.C. that he expects battery costs to continue to fall in coming years, enabling even more lower-priced electric cars.

To that end, JB said that lithium battery powered cars “will become the predominant and primary fuel for light vehicles,” and as such, Tesla is now planning for “cars beyond” the Model 3 portfolio. Mr. Straubel gave no specific indication of what these cars might be, or when they would arrive.

But in the meantime we can look forward to an affordable all-electric, crossover from Tesla in the near future…provided of course Mr. Musk doesn’t want to offer the Model X’s falcon wing door’s on the utility vehicle.

WSJ (sub), hat tip to offib!

Category: Tesla

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121 responses to "Tesla CTO: Model 3 To Be Offered As Sedan And Crossover"
  1. mhpr262 says:

    I seriously hope Franz von H. has drawn up something a bit more appealing than the 3rd party abomination rendered in the picture …

    1. Andrew S says:


    2. no comment says:

      i don’t understand the objection to this rendering. not to say that i would actually buy a model 3 (something that i would have in common with most of the people posting here), but the rendering doesn’t look that horrible to me.

      1. Grady says:

        It looks like the Audi A3 with absurdly tall windows.

      2. liuping says:

        it looks “ok” from that angle. but look up the renderings from the front. It is truly fugly.

        1. no comment says:

          the tesla front end design is generally not particularly attractive.

    3. IDK says:

      @mhpr262 +1

      By-the-way Elon also hints of this in his latest shareholders meeting when mentioning the Model 3 he says “cars” (plural).

    4. Peter says:

      I would be happy to place my order for two today IF IT was possible.

      2017 for sure IF not sooner i will order two of these. I already have two of the model S.

      1. observer says:

        Wow, you are soooooo rich. Mmm Mmm Mmm. How big is your house?! How many times have you flown to Europe?! Can you actually believe people shop at Wal Mart?! Eww gross

  2. Ford Prefect says:

    Finally confirmation of a crossover, now I can start saving up funds for it! What’s it going to be called though? I’m thinking Model Y for obvious reasons…

  3. Priusmaniac says:

    So we are going to have two model 3 instead of one, that will be more choice and even more fun for the customers. Great for a faster ev adoption too. By the way if they make 2 cars they could sell two times as much and have 1 million vehicles per year instead of 500000.

  4. Anon says:

    Awesome possum! 😀

    Take that, “Bolt”. 😉

    1. Tim says:

      Do we not all want the adoption of EVs? is this not adding to our choice pool?
      Dont get me wrong this is awesome but why the hate on Bolt? GM decided lets try to sell an full EV that is larger and 200 mile range that people are asking for thats the same thing Tesla is doing.
      I am pumped that Tesla is sharing more information about their plans for the future. Go Tesla, Go GM, Go Nissan… GO EVs.

      1. Anon says:

        I don’t count short range compliance vehicles from companies that drag their feet to make BEVs not only desirable, but actually available to the masses.

        1. Lensman says:

          I don’t either, but the Bolt won’t be a short-range BEV. At a nominally 200 miles, it will likely have a real-world range of 150-160 miles, which means it will have twice the range of the Leaf, and far more than any other PEV except Tesla cars.

          As far as your assertion that the Bolt will only be a compliance car… well, let’s wait and see what happens rather than pronouncing sentence before we’ve even had a trial.

          1. LuStuccc says:

            When the Bolt will come out , the Leaf will already have improved his range.
            And yes, I think Gm will only make country wide compliance cars, also too expensive.

            1. kdawg says:

              When the Model 3 arrives and it’s crossover cousin, the Bolt will already be in it’s 2nd generation design phase.

              1. kdawg says:

                Also the term “country-wide compliance cars” makes no sense.

                1. ffbj says:

                  Yes. since the definition of a compliance car is one that will only be sold in carb credit states, of which i think there are 6 or 7.

                2. Lensman says:

                  kdawg said:

                  “Also the term ‘country-wide compliance cars’ makes no sense.”

                  I submit that a car qualifies as a “compliance car” if it’s made and sold primarily to satisfy CARB regulations, regardless of the number of states in which it is offered for sale.

                  In practice, the term “compliance car” appears to be used in EV related forums to refer to EVs and other alternative energy vehicles which are consistently sold in low numbers, around 300 per month or less in the North American market.

                  1. CARB states – Arizona, California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, District of Columbia.

                    CARB-Zero Emission Vehicle states – California’s ZEV program has now been adopted by the states of Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont. These states, known as the “Section 177 states,” have chosen to adopt California’s air quality standards in lieu of federal requirements as authorized under Section 177 of the federal Clean Air Act. Additionally, California’s GHG standards are now spelled out federal law. Maine, Washington DC and New Jersey are participating with ZEV initiatives, but are not signatory CARB-ZEV states.

                    1. Starting in 2012, the six “Large Vehicle Manufacturers” (LVM) were required to sell a minimum number of California Air Resources Board – Zero Emission Vehicle (CARB-ZEV) qualifying vehicles for compliance in California:

                      Manufacturer – ZEV used for CARB compliance, model years 2012-2014:

                      Ford – Focus EV
                      Honda – Fit EV
                      Chrysler/Fiat – 500e
                      Toyota – Rav4 EV, iQ EV
                      GM Chevrolet – Spark EV
                      Nissan – LEAF

                      For model years 2015 and beyond, both LVM and Intermediate Vehicle Manufacturers (IVM) must comply with CARB-ZEV:

                      BMW – i3, including gasoline hybrid version dubbed “REx”
                      Fiat/Chrysler – 500e (CEO of Fiat famously said, “Don’t buy my car”)
                      Ford – Focus EV, hydrogen by 2018 or more capable EV, like GM?
                      General Motors – Spark EV, future Sonic platform Bolt EV, possibly hydrogen by 2018-2020
                      Honda – absolutley hydrogen, may hedge bets with an EV
                      Hyundai – absolutley hydrogen, but may hedge bets with an EV
                      Kia – Soul EV, other EVs in the future
                      Mazda – Demio EV, plus hydrogen car with Toyota technology
                      Daimler/Mercedes – B-Class ED, Smart ED, hydrogen by 2018, Tesla Model S like car by 2020 called eLux
                      Nissan – LEAF, eNV-2000, probably other future EVs (perhaps hydrogen in Japan, though)
                      Toyota – absolutely hydrogen only in USA / Europe / Japan
                      Volkswagen – eGolf, hydrogen by 2018?, 310 mile Audi Q6 e-tron SUV, and 265 mile Porsche sedan for 2017/2018 “Tesla Model S competitor”

                      Auto manufacturers that are NOT subject to CARB-ZEV due to their small sales in California. These additional manufacturers are required to comply with the ZEV requirements, but would be allowed to meet their obligation with Plug-In Hybrids (PHEV):

                      Tesla – Roadster, Model S, Model X, Model 3 (all EV)
                      Mitsubishi – iMiev (EV) and Outlander Plug-in hybrid
                      Fuji Heavy Industry (Subaru) – ?
                      Jaguar Land Rover – EV
                      Volvo – plug-in hybrid CUV
                      Aston Martin Lagonda – DBX EV

                      Update, May 18, 2015

                      The California Air Resources Board rejected a plea from Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Subaru and Volvo to be exempted from the ZEV mandate. They had argued that their small r&d budgets will keep them from developing and selling electrified cars as easily as full-line automakers such as Ford, General Motors and Nissan, which already must sell ZEVs.

                      Automakers with less than $40 billion in annual global revenue — which includes Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Subaru and Volvo — now will have the option to sell plug-in hybrids only to earn “credits” toward compliance, rather than being forced to sell some all-electric or hydrogen cars. If they don’t sell enough, they’ll still need to buy credits from companies such as Tesla Motors Inc. that sell electric cars in large numbers. Tesla banked $51 million in the first quarter from selling ZEV credits to other automakers.

                      1) Compliance-only – cars like Toyota Rav4 EV, Honda Fit EV, GM Spark EV, Fiat/Chrysler 500e; built because the manufacturer is required to build EV’s, and in pure compliance with the rules, the manufacturer makes just the minimum so that they can continue to sell high profit margin oil cars. Anything beyond that is generally in the form of press releases and not cars.

                      These cars are typically sold at a significant loss to their respective manufacturer. Typically optimized for “100 miles”, but practically have closer to 70-80 miles, and can be 40-50 miles with cold weather. Making the car go double the 100 mile range only produces 25% more credit hence no compliance-only cars are 200 mile range. They typically don’t have ANY quick charge option.

                      2) Compliance – cars like Nissan LEAF, and we hope BMW. These are cars that must be built because CARB requires it, however they are typically sold anywhere buyers can be found, generally with a profit motive. They are generally built on a dedicated (and expensive) chassis. Because they really want to sell these, all offer some sort of quick charge.

                      3) Non-compliance – cars like Tesla Model S and Mitsubishi iMiev, neither company is required to comply, yet they both make 100% ZEV’s. Definitely, profit motive cars. They are generally built on a dedicated (and expensive) chassis. Because they really want to sell these, all offer some sort of quick charge

            2. ziv says:

              It looks like both the Leaf II and the Bolt will be out next year with around 200 miles of EPA AER. That will be interesting. The Tesla III may come out in late 2017, but it very well could slide a couple quarters into 2018.

              Regardless, GM and Nissan will have at least a year and probably a bit more to get ready to duel Tesla for sales in sub $50k category. The Leaf Gen II with more range will still be the cheapest of the 3 with the Tesla III priced a little over the Bolt. 2018 will be interesting indeed.

              1. kdawg says:

                The Model 3 is *supposed* to be $35K, whereas the Bolt is *supposed* to be $37.5K. I trust GM’s pricing more than Tesla’s (as well as their release dates). Like you said, time will tell.

                1. Brian says:

                  yeah, even if the Tesla Model III “is” $35k, you won’t be able to buy that stripped down version for a couple of years. Tesla will be supply constrained and you can bet they will build the higher-margin cars first.

                2. Brian says:

                  P.S. Not sure why you trust GM. The Volt was *supposed* to be a $30k car in 2011. Instead it was $40k. Time will tell if they are more honest this time around.

                  1. kdawg says:

                    Correct we will find out. Some things GM has going for them them is they already know the costs of the Volt (which has continued to go down) and the Spark EV. I think there were a lot more unknowns in 2007 when the $30K number was tossed out for the Volt concept. One target GM did hit was the release date. And it appears they are on schedule with the Bolt since camouflaged ones have been spotted already.

                    So, like I said, I trust GM “more” than Tesla, but neither 100%. They are targets after all, not ultimatums.

                  2. Nix says:

                    Brian —

                    Pre-2008 market crash, and pre-2009 bankruptcy, the GM board had approved Bob Lutz’s plan of selling the Volt at a significant loss in order to put a fire under launching the new technology.

                    This was a fine plan back when GM was raking in 5 digit profits per unit on big luxury SUV’s and full size trucks, and while people were rolling one upside-down car loan into yet another upside-down car loan.

                    Then everything changed. All those $0-$1000 dollar down loans where they rolled in your upside down trade-in went away. The luxury SUV/full size truck market died. Car sales plummeted because people couldn’t get financing, and couldn’t get out of underwater car loans.

                    GM was put into receivership, and whatever the board had decided before became instantly null and void. As GM started coming out of bankruptcy in 2010/11, they could no longer sell Volts at a deep discount with the idea of selling large numbers to drive their costs down. This was part of the consequences of the bankruptcy that was triggered by the banking failure which crashed the credit market and killed car sales for all car makers across the board.

                    The higher price meant they sold fewer units, and it has taken longer to drive down costs. This is just the reality of the situation.

                    GM cut the price $5K soon after emerging from receivership, but it was too late to really blow out sales. Only now with the 2016 Volt are they really going to get back on track (hopefully).

                    Blaming GM for a global economic crash that seized up the international credit market, killing sales across the board and pushing them over the edge into bankruptcy, resulting in their original plans for the Volt being ripped to shreds seems pretty short-sighted.

                    1. Brian says:

                      Interesting perspective, thank you for sharing. Your review of the past decade’s history was well written, until your last sentence. I would agree that blaming GM for the global economic crash is not only short sighted, but ignorant. I disagree with your implication that I blamed them for any such thing. I was simply pointing out that GM’s history of price prediction hasn’t been notably better than Tesla’s, without going into any of the reasons why. I suppose Tesla’s predictions could equally be explained by factors outside of their control. Not to mention their inexperience. By now they have a better handle on what it takes / costs to build a car.

                      I guess your assumption is that there will be no major upsets in the next few years. I’m no economist so I cannot tell you how valid that assumption is. I hear many doom-and-gloom stories, but don’t necessarily buy into them. Does GM have a better view of the next 5 years than they did in 2007, when the Volt was rolled out onto the stage, with all sorts of promises? Maybe. Maybe not. Did they know that the world economy would plummet into the “Great Recession” then, or were they blind sided? Is our economy really that much more stable than 9 years ago? These are all rhetorical questions. I don’t know the answers.

                    2. wavelet says:

                      GM has only itself to blame for its bankruptcy. It sat back, selling unsafe trucks or stupid pseudo-military (Hummer) vehicles at insane profit margins, not using the money to invest in real R&D for the future — did they think downturns never happen? They kept way too many badge-engineering divisions around with no added value. They let their pension commitments get completely out of hand, banking on a bailout.
                      They should never have received a cent of bailout money (ditto Chrysler, esp. after the 1979 bailout).

                  3. pjkPA says:

                    I paid $22,900 for my 2013 Chevy Volt… it has proven to be better than I could have imagined. I agree with the 128,000 SAE Automotive engineers who voted the Chevy Volt as the “Best engineered car” …
                    I’ve been to a gas station 2 times in 30 months…changed the oil once..that’s it.
                    Not a single problem…best car I’ve owned in 45 years.

          2. Wallace says:

            GM is usually conservative. If they say 200 mile range, that means 270 mile summer range with no ac, and 150 mile winter range.

            1. There’s just not that much cost variation for GM ago make a “275” mile car.

              It will be 150-175 EPA, called 200 miles for CARB-ZEV credits a 4 per car.

              1. Brian says:

                Nah, I have to believe that GM learned from Nissan’s “100 mile” fiasco. I don’t think that the Bolt’s 200 mile range is on the LA4 cycle, or whatever CARB uses. It will be based on the new 5-cycle EPA test. The sticker will show 200+ miles of range, just like today’s Spark EV shows 82 miles.

                It will get 200+ miles in the spring/fall driving 60 MPH on the highway without climate control (I know, not many people drive like that). Assuming it is properly designed, it will get 150 miles in the winter for most of the country. Probably 125 for us with actual winters.

                1. Tech01x says:

                  Given the size of the Bolt, aerodynamics and the expected NMC chemistry, fitting 60 kWH into that car is unlikely. That means 200 miles of range with the 5 cycle EPA test is also unlikely. GM has to claim 200 miles I order to get the right number of ZEV credits.

                  1. The Spark EV is very efficient, and that is due to a well designed and just as importantly tuned motor for highway speed.

                    That efficiency is also due to light weight. Since the Bolt will be slightly bigger and significantly heavier (with a bigger battery), there is no way it will knock out 5 miles per kWh, like the Spark EV. Electric drivetrains, in general, don’t have a lot of room to get more efficient.

                    So, I predict a more BMW i3 or slightly worse consumption rate. Let’s say 4.5 miles per kWh.

                    200 miles / 4.5 miles/kWh = 45kWh usable battery (about 50kWh total). At just $300 per kWh, that’s a $15,000 battery in a $37,500 car.

                    Remember, this is the same GM that LOWERED the kWh in the Spark EV, from 19kWh usable to 18kWh between 2014 and 2015 model years, actually lowering range.

                    They will be doing the very same pencil sharpening with Bolt.


                    Range at 65mph (100km ground speed) on dry, hard surface level road with no wind or cabin climate control with new condition battery at 70F, battery capacity is “useable” amount, not advertised amount. Ranges are at maximum available charge and EPA rating is the maximum published.

                    LEAF – 4 miles per kWh (250 wattHours per mile) * 21.3kWh = 85.2 miles / EPA 84

                    i3 – 4.7 miles per kWh (213 wattHours per mile) * 18.8kWh = 89 miles (the “REx” version has less electric range)

                    I3 “REx” (with gasoline engine) – 4.6 miles per kWh (217 wattHours per mile) * 18.8kWh = 86 miles minus reserve held for gasoline engine operation = 80 miles

                    Soul EV – 4 miles per kWh (250 wattHours per mile) * 27kWh = 108 miles / EPA 93

                    eGolf – 4.1 miles per kWh (244 wattHours per mile) * 24kWh = 100 miles

                    GM / Chevrolet
                    2014 Spark EV – 5 miles per kWh (200 wattHours per mile) * 19kWh = 95miles / EPA 82

                    2015 Spark EV – 5 miles per kWh (200 wattHours per mile) * 18kWh = 89 miles / EPA 82

                    B-Class ED – 3.6*** miles per kWh (278 wattHours per mile) * 31.5kWh = 113 miles / EPA 87
                    *** Mercedes consumption meter is calibrated so that 3.6 miles per kWh will show 3.0 on the dash. The correction factor is 83.7%, or 1.2

                    Rav4 EV – 3.4 miles per kWh (295 wattHours per mile) * 41.8kWh = 142 miles / EPA 113

                    1. 150 mile EPA range / 4.7 miles/kWh = 31.9kWh usable
                      175 mile EPA range / 4.6 miles/kWh = 38.0kWh usable
                      200 mile EPA range / 4.5 miles/kWh = 44.5kWh usable


                      31.9kWh usable (

                    2. 31.9kWh usable (35kWh) * $300 = $10,500

                      50kWh battery = $15,000

                      I know exactly which battery they will use.

                2. Jeff Songster says:

                  Currently in my 2015 Nissan LEAF I start the car with 100% charge and have a range estimate of 102 to 103 miles. If I drive conservatively and keep my miles per kW at 4.2 or better I can get close to that on eco routes. Now… If I blast down the freeway at 70… I certainly won’t get that far… I am responding to the 100 mile fiasco.
                  The first 2 years of the car were not as good, no doubt… most 1.0 products can still bear improvement but the Nissan LEAF is a very useful, cool car. As I drove thru Silicon Valley yesterday I counted at least 25 of them on the freeway. When next year’s model… 2016 comes out… it is rumored to be on target to get an EPA rated 125 miles. I’d guess some of us hypermilers will get 150 plus out of it. Looking forward to it and the 2017 models from Chevy and Nissan that are claiming even more miles for about the same money. Let’s hope. As for the Model III… gonna be awesome. I don’t think I can wait though… gotta get a Model X!

                  1. The 2016 LEAF will have an optional 30kWh battery (28.5kWh usable) which will make the car heavier. Expect consumption to be about 3.9 miles per kWh for EPA,

                    28.5kWh * 3.9 = 111 miles EPA

                  2. Brian says:

                    Range estimates are useless. My 2012 will report a range of over 90 miles at times, on a 100% charge. Then I start driving and I lose about 5 miles from that for every mile driven until the sum of miles driven + miles “remaining” hits about 60. Then I lose about 2 miles for every 3 driven. My total range is about 75 miles in normal driving.

                    The fiasco I’m referring to is the fact that they advertised 100 miles but when the sticker came out, it said 73. And yet Nissan kept telling the world “100 miles”. When people heard that, they didn’t expect to have to hypermile just to get close to 100 miles.

                    I have always beaten EPA MPG estimates in my cars. I don’t hypermile, but I do drive conservatively. As it is, I am just about hitting the sticker range of my Leaf.

                    Most people don’t get the EPA MPG out of their cars, due to how they drive. The same will be true of their range in a Leaf. Driven “normally”, a 2011 Leaf could easily only get 60 miles on a 100% charge.

                    I don’t think GM wants to go down this road. I am still holding out hope that 200 miles means 200 miles on the sticker.

                    1. Greg Brewsaugh says:

                      That’s about right. I can easily count on 60 miles range in my 2011 Leaf. Day in and day out. Regardless of season, terrain or driving style. While a (disappointing) far cry from the claimed range, it suits this two-car family perfectly as a second car. Our primary is a 2011 Volt. Great combination. We’ll probably be looking for replacements in 2020-ish. Should be many terrific choices by then.

          3. Cavaron says:

            I like the Bolt, but GM said something about 40k in yearly sales. Thats much, much more than any compilance car – but also less then 10 times the anticipated sales from Tesla.

            1. Cavaron says:

              That last sentence sounded funny – let’s say it is less than 10% of anticipated Tesla sales.

      2. G2 says:

        “Go ANY BEV company!”

    2. Ambulator says:

      A sedan and a CUV are both uninteresting to me. It looks more and more like a Bolt for me.

      1. Anon says:

        The Bolt IS a small CUV…

        1. Lensman says:

          I’m pretty sure the Bolt will be a hatchback (or “liftback”) sedan, like both the BMW i3 and the Tesla Model S.

          1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

            Yes, the Model S is referred to as a sedan, but it’s a hatchback. They call it a sedan because of the slope of the hatch.

            1. Alonso Perez says:

              I’d call it a liftback. Hatchback conjures images of a Golf, Fiesta, or similar car with a short rear quarter.

              A liftback is a long as a sedan. A hatchback has the trunk cut off, as it were.

        2. Ambulator says:

          The Bolt looks like a hatchback to me.

  5. Scott Franco, the greedy republican says:

    I wish Tesla would focus on actually delivering cars they already promised…

    1. Robb Stark says:

      I wish posters would concentrate on useful post and not constantly whining.

      1. Anon says:

        He’s probably from Boston. 😉

    2. They are on schedule from the beginning concept. Look it up.

      1. Spider-Dan says:

        The beginning concept of the Model III, or the Model X?

        As I recall, the MX is behind schedule and the MIII schedule was really just too far out to even evaluate now.

    3. Tim(W) says:

      Yep, I’m pretty sure that this has caused a huge delay. Or had no impact whatsoever. For sure one of those two possibilities.

  6. Lensman says:

    A crossover isn’t a passenger car? How is that functionally different from a station wagon? Is a station wagon also “not a passenger car”?

    I think someone is splitting hairs too finely.

    1. Nix says:

      Crossover usually (but not always) implies at least having the option for AWD or 4WD. Usually with a higher stance/ground clearance.

      Station wagon usually (but not always) implies fake wood paneling, the 1970’s/80’s, the Griswalds, massive boats, and the family dog tied to the top in a dog carrier…


      1. Jay Cole says:

        Nope, they (sales) are accounted for separately.

        While the “CUV” title can be a bit confusing, the basic definition of what a passenger “car” is, isn’t confusing.

        1. There’s different accounting for vehicles that can be considered a “truck”.

          Chrysler played this famously with their mini-van. Different crash test rules, EPA requirements, etc.

        2. Speculawyer says:

          Check out the Planet Money episode on the “Chicken Tax” that deals with trucks. It is an interesting artifact from history.


          1. sven says:

            I was just thinking about the 25% “chicken tax” today when I spotted a two door Range Rover Evoque Coupe for the first time. Since it’s made in England, I wondered if it was subject to the chicken tax or was it somehow classified as a passenger car, not a light truck/SUV, and therefore not subject to the chicken tax. Does anyone know?

        3. Lensman says:

          Jay Cole said:

          “…the basic definition of what a passenger ‘car’ is, isn’t confusing.”

          I respectfully disagree.

          Lots of people call their SUV their “car”. In fact, I have friends and relatives who call their pickup a “car”.

          I concede there are different legal categories for “passenger cars” and “light trucks” as far as licensing, insurance, and safety tests. Perhaps that distinction has some practical value outside of such considerations… and perhaps it doesn’t.

          In practical terms, they are all passenger vehicles, and all are commonly called “cars” by the general public.

          * * * * *

          Fair warning: Rant mode on:

          When you get to differentiating between CUVs vs station wagons, or “AUVs” vs “CUVs” vs “SUVs”, or “liftback” vs “hatchback”, or differentiating between a “fifth door” and a “rear gate”…

          Honestly, I think we would be better off without people attempting to define pigeonholes of smaller and smaller size. What is the utility of the term “AUV” (Action Utility Vehicle) as opposed to an SUV or CUV? Or the term “liftback”… which apparently merely means a hatchback that is angled at more of a horizontal than vertical angle. I mean, seriously, somebody thinks that needs different terminology?!?!

          1. Jay Cole says:

            Serious sidenote: It really isn’t me, the industry does account for them separately. I merely am the spineless conformist that goes along with said reporting, (=

            1. Dave K. says:

              When my neighbor proudly showed me her new car, and told me “It’s a Crossover!”, I leaned in close and whispered “It’s a Station Wagon.”. Sorry, it’s the same thing with bigger tires, the name has just become unmentionable, not cool, something Granny drove…

      2. Dave86 says:

        Nix –

        Your definition of crossover & station wagen works for me. Well done.

        To me, a ***TRUE*** SUV has some off road capability, where as the AWD in a crossover is just for dealing with bad road conditions, like snow, ice, slush, and fallen leaves.


          1. Steven says:

            Hey! Here in PA, we take our Mayflys seriously. And with a leaf-blower.

      3. Lensman says:

        I certainly don’t agree that a CUV typically has a higher ground clearance. The difference between an SUV and a CUV is that an SUV is built on a light truck frame, with heavier suspension and typically higher ground clearance. Contrariwise, a CUV is built on a car frame, so has the ground clearance of a typical car rather than a typical light truck.

        At least, that’s my understanding of the difference between the “SUV” and “CUV” categories. But perhaps in everyday use those two categories have become confused or perhaps they overlap some; at least one Tesla exec recently called the Model X a “SUV”, despite the fact that it’s built on the Model S platform, and thus (it seems to me) should be categorized as a CUV.

        1. Nix says:

          Lensman — You are right about the old-school Body-on-Frame SUV’s. From the 70’s until about a decade ago SUV’s were body-on-frame.

          Before the 1960’s, cars were body-on-frame too, so body-on-frame isn’t a definitive way to categorize a vehicle as an SUV. A few passenger cars kept on using body-on-frame until just a few years ago.

          Lately more and more vehicles that manufacturers call SUV’s have abandoned the Body-on-Frame construction, and are built with unibody construction. Most Jeeps (except the Wrangler), Ford Explorers, etc are now unibody, and yet still marketed as SUV’s. So unibody vs frame-on-chassis is a grey area even for SUV’s now.

          And while SUV’s have even more clearance than CUV’s, the CUV’s generally still have more clearance than passenger cars. Even if it is achieved just by putting bigger wheels and tires on a unibody they share with a passenger car. CUV’s tend to fall in the middle between the two in terms of clearance.

          1. Sublime says:

            You could argue that Tesla’s are body on frame too because of the skateboard design.

            1. Nix says:

              Yes, the Tesla and the BMW i3 are both Body-on-Frame construction. They don’t like to call it that anymore because it sounds old fashioned, so they now call it “skateboard”. The execution is significantly different than traditional body-on-frame, so I don’t blame them.

          2. Lensman says:


            My sincere thanks for your post. I’ve never been a “car guy” so I’m sure a lot of my knowledge is outdated.

  7. CherylG's_DirtyLittleSecret says:

    2 Models for Model 3?

    This does not sound right at all. There should be 3 different models.
    Model 3 – Sedan
    Model 3 – Confused Utility Vehicle
    Can the third model be a “Roadster”?

    Tesla, show us what’s under your sleeves!

    1. Elon Musk already said they’d likely do a truck before another Roadster.

      Either way, the smaller physical volume of a Model Ξ pack with high manufacturing volume, should enable a whole family of vehicles.

    2. Alonso Perez says:

      I’d like a pony.


      I’d like a pony car on the Model III platform. This car would be to the Model III as the 1964 Mustang was to the Ford Falcon.

      A convertible version of that would be even better.

      This would not be a mere coupe version of the Model III. It would have to have its own distinctive styling.

      1. ffbj says:

        Sure, why not.

      2. Rick says:

        A coupe? Or a sedan without a “B” Pillar?

        (OK, finished adding silliness to this conversation).

  8. RS says:

    Please stop using, that strange Model 3 rendering. J.B said sedan, not hatchback.

    1. Lensman says:


    2. DanCar says:

      Looks like a crossover to me.

      1. RS says:

        It looks like the definition of a hatchback. I know sometimes crossovers look like hatchbacks, because they often are lifted hatchback, but this looks like every other small hatch, especially from other perspectives.

    3. CherylG's_DirtyLittleSecret says:


    4. Speculawyer says:

      Yeah, they should stop using that fan-fiction render . . . not because it is unofficial but because it is really ugly.

  9. Speculawyer says:

    2 body styles is better than one. Use the skateboard platform to support multiple body types.

    Just make sure they look nice and are very aerodynamic.

  10. Fabian says:

    Give me the lightest version of the two model 3’s. All I want is range, range, and EV more range.

    1. Speculawyer says:

      Well, you might want the more aerodynamic model instead of the lighter model (unless you plan on driving at slow speed).

  11. EVer says:

    I dont understand whats appealing about a crossover

    never dreamed of driving a vehicle like that

    1. Anon says:

      I would have liked a Rav4 EV, to haul me and dawg + lots of stuff around town, but with no fast charge support and a company that clearly didn’t try very hard to either design a compelling BEV, or sell it in non-CARB states for a reasonable price… This announcement from Tesla makes me VERY happy. 😀

      Can’t really do what I want with the current non-Tesla EV’s out there, in my non-CARB state. Have you SEEN the “cargo area” in a Ford Focus EV???

      1. Out-of-state customers for the RAV4 EV are all over. It’s a shipping expense to show up at your front door. Probably the biggest market for used RAV4 EVs is out-of-state and out-of-country to Norway.

        Toyota is relaxing being first class assholes with out-of-state service, and CHAdeMO aid avaible from our company called JdeMO.

        1. CHAdeMO “is” available…

          1. Speculawyer says:

            Is it? Your add-on port is now available?

            Pretty cool!

  12. Someone out there says:

    “expected to launch in late 2017”

    So we can actually drive one in the middle/late 2019, if the model X is anything to go by.

  13. CDAVIS says:

    Jay Cole must really enjoy stirring the comments pot showing that Stumpf Studio Model 3 render again.

    I’m surprised the Model 3 is being cross-developed with a crossover variant because that suggests the Model 3 will be ridding on a completely different platform than the Model S which means way more upfront development overhead for the Model 3 rather than piggy-backing on the Model S platform.

    1. Nix says:

      The Model 3 has always been planned to have a different chassis.

    2. Lensman says:

      It was never a reasonable assumption to think the Model ≡ would use the Model S platform, or that the Model ≡ will look like the Model S but shrunk by 20%. The Model ≡ will be half the price of the Model S, not to mention using a different size battery cell and thus will need a completely new battery pack.

      A new model; a new design from the ground up.

      1. CDAVIS says:

        @Lensman said: “It was never a reasonable assumption to think the Model ≡ would use the Model S platform…”

        Keep in mind that for Tesla the economy-of-scale savings ($dollars & time) of piggy-backing off the Model-S platform compared to developing & maintaining a completely separate underpinning platform to chase lower materials assembly cost may net out to be a zero-sum at best so why not just stick to a common platform?

        Chevey TrailBlazer = Chevy SSR

        Lexus ES = Toyota Camry

    3. koz says:

      Always been discussed by Tesla as a different, smaller platform.

  14. Lad says:

    Gotta marvel at the PR Tesla gets every week with new announcements; a liquid cooled charger cable last week and now crossover Model Ξ vapor, wow!
    BTW,I used the ‘model Ξ’ symbol because I know everyone loves it.

    1. Mikael says:

      That symbol is very nice. And it being the trigram for “heaven” is pretty suitable and awsome for the Chinese/Asian market.

      Not to mention how s≡xy it gets… 😉

  15. GeorgeS says:

    I was going to comment then noticed the anti GM sentiment right up front and as usual decided to just enjoy the article and NOT read the comments.

    Honestly it is as bad as reading the comments on the WSJ.

  16. 21miDay says:

    Jay, is there a site feedback button somewhere?

    ***mod edit*** Yes, that sort of information can be found in the “About” section of the menus ***mod edit***

  17. kdawg says:

    I thought they might do this. That way they can do their more traditional CUV, then something a bit more “radical” for the sedan. (or vice versa)

  18. Three Electrics says:

    To put the 500,000 number in perspective, the Accord and Camry both sell well less than 400,000 copies a year, and they start at $22K, have a range of 300 miles, and refuel in three minutes from a network of more than 100,000 stations.

    1. Brian says:

      Two things:

      1) The numbers you quote for Accord/Camry are US sales only, but the number Tesla gives are global sales.

      2) The Accord/Camry are single cars. The 500,000 number includes the entire Tesla lineup. We know that they will sell at least 4 models by the end of the decade (Model S, Model X, and two variants of Model III). I wouldn’t be surprised if there was another model or two added by 2020. Perhaps the truck to which Elon has alluded?

    2. sven says:

      “. . . sell well less than 400,000 copies a year . . .”

      In 2014 Toyota sold 428,606 Camrys in the US and 16,029 in Canada, while Honda sold 388,374 Accords in the US and 16,962 in Canada.



      1. Three Electrics says:

        Thanks. I only had 2011 figures available. I also goofed on range: the non hybrid Camry does more like 450 miles per tank. The hybrids do north of 600.

  19. Priusmaniac says:

    Did someone notice this photo of Elon with his kids in front of a clay model at the 26’22” moment of this video:

    It could be the clay model of the Model 3.

    1. Tim says:

      It very will could be but the similarity to model S and the lack visibility is difficult.

      Good catch though.

    2. Sublime says:

      That’s a Model S. (Via Wikipedia) His youngest kids were born in 2006, so they’d be 8 or 9 years old today. That’s not an eight year old he’s holding, probably 3-5 making the photo from 2009-2011, when the Model S would be in clay models.

      1. Priusmaniac says:

        OK case closed. Thanks.

  20. koz says:

    A small pick up of some sort will not be far behind.

  21. James says:

    Hopefully the internet will not break with the volume the day the Model 3 reservations are open
    I do not care what it will look like. I am down for one.

  22. CaptD says:

    What is really needed is a tiny 2 seater commuter car (a TESLe?) for all those that drive themselves to and from work but don’t want to buy a Volt, a BMWi, an eFiat or a SmartCar which is zippy and fun to drive that does not need a 200 mile range. It should also have “hard point” mounted to the roof so that Owners can mount a real roof rack, should they want occasionally to carry some lumber or any other things that don’t fit inside tiny cars.

  23. Farallon5 says:

    Have been looking forward to something that could replace my trusty Passat wagon. The model 3 crossover might do it. P-L-E-A-S-E no Falcon or any other species of bird doors–keep it simple and build it with a useful roof rack.

  24. Three Electrics says:

    The model differentiation might indicate a softening of expected demand. The delays in the Model X have fueled speculation that the Model S is no longer supply constrained, but demand is not increasing. Tesla had planned for enough battery capacity for the X, and with the delay they could use that (now spare) capacity to sell more S copies. The lack of increased sales either indicates demand constraint or that their S production lines were the bottleneck, not the battery supply.

    1. Lensman says:

      Three Electrics said:

      “The delays in the Model X have fueled speculation that the Model S is no longer supply constrained, but demand is not increasing. Tesla had planned for enough battery capacity for the X, and with the delay they could use that (now spare) capacity to sell more S copies.”

      I don’t see how that is a rational scenario. If Tesla wants to increase demand, then selling two models instead of one would obviously be one way to do that.

      There is a rational scenario where Tesla deliberately delayed the introduction of the Model X because they are constrained in battery supply, and due to startup costs being partially amortized away on the Model S, they will make a higher per-unit profit margin selling a Model S than on a Model X. Therefore, if that’s correct, Tesla would make more money using all its limited battery supply to build as many Model S’s as it can, rather than Model X’s. (Note I’m not asserting that’s what’s really going on; I’m just saying that scenario seems to be a possibility.)

  25. Lensman says:

    Brian said:

    “…I have to believe that GM learned from Nissan’s ‘100 mile’ fiasco.”

    What “fiasco”? It hasn’t been that many months since someone reported that Nissan is still advertising the Leaf as a “100 mile EV” at car shows, and as far as I know, they still are. Now, Ford’s claims for the range of their PEVs… those actually were a fiasco.

    GM wildly exaggerated the average range of the EV1, and some of us have not forgotten GM promoting the early, nonsensical EPA rating of 230 MPG for the Volt. Also, some of us have not forgotten GM outright lying about the Volt being a pure serial hybrid.

    I don’t know if GM has a better overall reputation for claims matching reality than other auto makers or not. But it seems when it comes to PEVs, they have a pretty dismal record.

    I dunno about anyone else, but when GM says the Bolt will be a “200 mile” EV, I personally don’t think that will be any closer to the actual EPA range than Nissan claiming 100 miles for the Leaf. In other words, I expect the Bolt to have an EPA range of around 150-160 miles, and the same for the other non-Tesla auto makers and their nominally “200 mile” EVs.

    As far as Tesla’s Model ≡ goes: Tesla is just as bad as the other auto makers as far as exaggerating PEV range. They advertised the Model S as a “300 mile” BEV, and so far as I know they still do. As I recall, Tesla’s claim for the Roadster’s range was even more exaggerated. It may be that the Model ≡ will have a slightly better range than the Bolt, but if so it will be because Tesla wants to maintain its position as leader of the EV revolution, and not because Tesla’s hype is any closer to the truth than any other auto maker.