Tesla Motors is the unquestioned leader in the electric vehicle market, but at more than $70,000 for its baseline Model S, the next generation of automobiles is still largely out of reach for most — but not for long.
In a recent Autocar interview, Tesla VP of engineering Chris Porritt said the company’s fourth production line, the “Model E,” will be priced to compete with other luxury brand baseline models like BMW’s 3-Series and Audi’s A4, both of which reside in the little over $30,000-range.
The lower price will be made feasible thanks largely to the company’s forthcoming “Gigafactory,” which — when completed — will be the largest battery factory in the world, and drastically reduce the cost of producing Tesla’s massive power sources.
Porritt declined to reveal additional new details about the Model E, which will reportedly be 20 percent smaller than the Model S and use cheaper construction materials like steel instead of aluminum.
“I expect there will be very little carry-over,” Porritt said.
Tesla recently announced projected shipping dates for its third production line, the SUV-style “Model X,” which will launch in the second quarter of 2015, with the Model E compact not following until at least one year later.