Thebecame perhaps the most hyped vehicle launch in modern history. It promised a long range, loads of tech and a $35,000 starting price.
During an investor and analyst call, Musk said Tesla "will not succeed" in its mission if it doesn't continue to build more affordable electric cars, and that it "bugs" him Teslas aren't more affordable. The CEO added "it's reasonable to assume" the EV maker has something "compact" and more affordable in the pipeline.
Musk gave no explicit mention of a Model 3 hatchback, but the report claims this new, cheaper model will take that shape to better compete in Europe, where small runabouts are a practical choice for many. Tesla's upcomingmay eventually build the rumored Model 3 hatchback. Construction of the plant is underway and set for completion in the middle of next year.
Tesla did not immediately return a request for comment.
How affordable are we talking? Autocar, a UK publication, points to this new Tesla as a direct rival to theand . The ID 3 will sell for £27,500 in the UK, which at the current exchange rate is roughly $36,000. It's not even clear if a presumably smaller Tesla would be on the menu for the US, but as it stands, European rivals will undercut the Model 3 in the months to come. Tesla's electric sedan starts at the equivalent of $57,000 in the UK. Here in the US, the Model 3 is far more affordable.
It's not the first time we've heard about a smaller, and presumably cheaper, Tesla model. Early this year, Tesla revealed a sketch for a city car of sorts and began hiring to. A smaller, simpler EV for China could certainly influence a similar vehicle for Europe.
If a Model 3 hatchback comes to life, Tesla sure has a busy product rollout in the next few years. The automaker plans to launch theafter delays, and the . Then there's the , which should reach production late next year at a .