Elon Musk has said time and again that Tesla is building a BMW 3-series rival with 200 miles of range priced around $35,000. To keep costs down, the car formerly known Tesla Model E will be made mostly from steel, and priced realistically compared to established rivals, it was revealed in a recent interview with AutoCar.
Speaking to the British car magazine about the Model E, former Aston Martin executive and current Tesla VP of engineering Chris Porritt said that:
“I expect there will be very little carry-over. We’ve got to be cost-effective. We can’t use aluminium for all the components.”
In other words, the Model E won’t be riding on the same platform as the Model S and Model X. Instead, the Model E will get an all-new steel body that will be about 20% smaller than the Model S, so even though it will use heavier steel for most of the chassis, it could still end up being lighter. Also, there’s still the likelihood that the Model E will get a few aluminum components to cut down on weight, such as the hood or trunk lid. Making the Model E from mostly steel will certainly make it cheaper, but just how cheap remains an issue of intense debate and analysis though.
Another factor is the that battery prices continue to drop, and Musk’s proposed battery Gigafactory could reduce battery costs another 30%, making the Model E cost effective and more importantly, profitable. Still, the final price remains to be set, as we aren’t likely to get our first peek of the Model E until next year at the soonest. Musk has said time and again his goal is to get the cost down around $35,000, though whether or not that factors in tax credits, only Elon knows. Porritt says that the Model E will be priced “realistically” compared to more established rivals like the BMW 3-series and Audi A4 though, so the Model E could come in closer to $30,000.
Wouldn’t that be something?