Tesla working on third, sub-$30,000 car

Follow Nelson

Tesla working on third, sub-$30,000 car

Tesla working on third, sub-$30,000 car

Enlarge Photo
The world-famous Tesla Roadster - check out our recent test here - has been known for some time to have a sedan sibling in the works, codenamed 'Whitestar'. But now Tesla's chairman of the board, Elon Musk, is talking about the third car to bear the Tesla name, and it's targeting a sub-$30,000 price tag.

It's still in the early stages - Musk and the company haven't even decided if they'll build it themselves or in partnership with a larger carmaker - but some of the rough details indicate it could be Tesla's first real volume seller. The Roadster is only expected to turn out about 1,800 examples per year, while the Whitestar sedan will run nearer to 20,000 in total output after it starts sales in late 2010, but those are still tiny numbers in terms of the overall market.

By aiming for a sub-$30,000 price point, Tesla is clearly intending to build a car for the masses, which means production figures to match. Musk's interview with Newsweek indicates the third model could be targeting annual production figures of about 200,000 units, based on his theory of volume versus cost.

"[W]hen you increase the production quantity by a factor of 10, you can reduce the price by a factor of two. In the early 20th century, cars were initially something for wealthy people. It took quite some time for the cost to be optimized and become accessible to a broader population. It's the same thing here—we'll see the traditional technology learning curve," said Musk.
Posted in:
Follow Us

Comments (7)
  1. Wow, if this turns out as good as the Roadster I would strongly consider buying one.

  2. How can you say they are World Famous when they havent even delivered a car yet?
    Apart from a few petrol heads, I doubt if anyone else would have heard of them!

  3. Anything that is world famous is known mostly only to avid enthusiasts. Show me pictures of some of the most famous actors in the world and I wouldn't be able to name any of them, but that doesn't mean they aren't world famous.

    99% of people don't know shit about cars anyways, so what they do or don't know about Tesla frankly doesn't mean anything either.

  4. i agree with superskyline89 it's kind of like the Bugatti Veyron and the SSC Ultimate Aero TT. Ask anybody and they'll know that it's the fastest (or was) car in the world. But ask the same people 99% of them would have no idea there was such a car let alone the current fastest car in the world.

  5. “When you increase the production quantity by a factor of 10, you can reduce the price by a factor of two"

    By that logic they should just halve the price of the $60,000 car, they would sell 10 times as many and everyone would be happy. No need to design a new smaller, cheaper and inferior car...

    They are clearly verbalising directly out their rectum.

  6. You TESLA guys have a good thing going. If you can build a car for $30K you will have the world eating out of your hand! But, let's get production up and running full speed ahead. You will have my fullest attention when you add in SOLAR.

    C'mon, get moving on your production... !

  7. Like many emerging technologies, it takes time to realize the vision of things to come. Same with the electric car. There is a growing concensus that we all must wean our selves off oil as a fuel, regardless of its cost, due to the emission of green house gases. However we can't do it overnight. The hybrids available today, the plug-in hybrids, and the all electric cars are transitional technolgies until we arrive at a zero emissions vehicle of some sort that will meet the trnsportation needs of everybody, economically and environmentally. As much as I'd like to hold out until I get that car, I am realitically thinking I will likey get some sort of plug- in hybrid as my transition car until "the car" is availble. These transtion technologies will likey be of all sorts, and the competitive market will eliminate all but the most desired and cost effective alternatives. So for now, every manufacturer of greener vehicles should be suppoted in their efforts with our dollars as we opt for the cars of today and stop whining that they don't realize the vision yet

Commenting is closed for old articles.

Take Us With You!


Get FREE Dealer Quotes

From dealers near you

Research New Cars


© 2015 MotorAuthority. All Rights Reserved. MotorAuthority is published by High Gear Media. Stock photography by izmo, Inc. Send us feedback.