Tesla designer reveals future EV models

Chief Tesla designer Franz von Holzhausen told British publication Autocar that the company would release an EV to compete with the BMW 3-series in 2015.

Tesla says it will eventually build a new version of the Roadster electric sports car. Josh Miller/CNET

Tesla's model ramp-up is looking rapid indeed, as Franz von Holzhausen, the electric vehicle maker's chief designer, talked to British publication Autocar of a new model planned for 2015 to compete with the BMW 3-series. Tesla's Model S , the first car it built from the ground up, began deliveries to customers just last month. Tesla also showed off a new concept, the Model X crossover , earlier this year, which enters production at the end of 2013.

Von Holzhausen said Tesla would target a price of $30,000 for the BMW 3 competitor, and would experiment with more-radical styling. Car and Driver posted some additional reporting on the original story, confirming the new model with a Tesla spokesperson, also garnering the detail that Tesla would eventually build a successor to the Roadster.

Both the BMW 3 competitor and the new Roadster would be built on smaller chassis than that of the Model S, which may end up being a shortened version of the same platform. Car and Driver speculates that the range would likely be less than in the Model S for the new cars, as the chassis could not accommodate as large of a battery pack.

During the Model S launch event last month, Tesla CTO JB Straubel told CNET that he expects battery capacity to double in 10 years, effectively doubling the range of Tesla's models. Rather than staking this prediction on breakthrough technology from a startup, Straubel said that existing large battery makers, such as Tesla supplier Panasonic, would end up commercializing any new battery technologies.

 

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