$25,000 Tesla Promised Three Years from Now, Musk Doesn't Sound Too Convincing

Musk announcing future affordable Tesla model 1 photo
Photo: YouTube screenshot
Most previous Tesla events had the benefit of a stacked venue and also the rock concert vibe given by the stage lighting that comes naturally when you schedule them after-dark.
That doesn't mean they've been completely free of any awkwardness, just that they were nowhere near close to the levels seen at the company's Battery Day. With Musk sitting on a stage in front of a parking lot full of Teslas - by the way, a more varied color choice is desperately needed - it looked as though he had finally lost his mind and was talking to a bunch of vehicles. We get it, it was the only way any public could have been allowed in, but sometimes you have to evaluate the situation and think whether a change in the pattern wouldn't be the wiser option.

Anyway, Tesla decided to go with it, so any mildly exciting announcement Musk made was met by a barrage of horns that made it look like the Tesla CEO was singlehandedly responsible for creating a traffic jam whenever he said something of interest. It was weird, and not in a good way.

What matters most, though, is the information in the actual presentation, but that didn't seem to go down too well with everyone either. Sure, ramping up battery production, eliminating rare metals from the cell makeup (nickel replacing cobalt in the cathode), reducing cost, devising a new battery cell (46x80mm), using silicon for the anode instead of graphite - it all sounded great. The issue was with the timeline. It seems like investors were hoping for a more rapid technological advancement, but Musk was only able to promise change three years from now.

The same went for the model everyone was expecting. No, not the Model S Plaid, but the really affordable Tesla that's supposed to truly bring electric vehicles into the mainstream. Musk says that has always been Tesla's goal, but the world still has to wait three more years for the $25,000 EV, at least as far as Tesla is concerned.

Obviously, the production of this vehicle depends heavily on the battery technology progress - more to the point, on the cost-cutting measures. Tesla appears to have set a clear pathway it wants to follow, and it just needs time and, as Elon repeatedly put it, a lot of work and effort.

The thing that might have a few people worried is the actual wording of the CEO's announcement. "I think probably, in about three years from now, we're confident we can make a very compelling $25,000 electric vehicle," he said, hastening to add that it'll also be "fully autonomous".

Those are not the kind of clear-cut statements you would expect from a CEO that runs a tight ship, but then again Tesla is the kind of company that can get away with murder when it comes to sticking to its self-imposed time plans. Still, the market did react to the underwhelming nature of the entire event by having TSLA value drop. Even though it wasn't by a significant margin, it was the exact opposite effect of what most people were expecting (or hoping) to happen.

If three years sounds like a long time, think of it this way: the new Roadster was announced three years ago, and people are still going crazy over it. It makes perfect sense when you consider its stats have remained just as relevant now as they were back then, but it goes to show Tesla knows how to keep the public curious. Expect plenty of tiny drops of information about the affordable model to start dripping slowly over the next few years and call us what you will if that's not going to happen.

Go to 2:37 for the affordable Tesla announcement.

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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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