Tesla makes some of the coolest cars on the market, but for many people the $70,000 Model S is too expensive to justify buying. Thankfully it looks like the company is also working on a cheaper Model E that might not come at such a high price.
The electric car-maker is currently developing the Model E while also putting the finishing touches on its Model X SUV, which is set to hit the market next year. In an interview with Autocar, Tesla VP of engineering Chris Porritt revealed that the E will be priced to compete with Audi’s A4 sedan and BMW’s compact 3 series, which both cost a little over $30,000 new. The planned lower price is mostly thanks to Tesla’s Gigafactory, which should significantly lower the cost of manufacturing batteries.
Porritt doesn’t reveal much about the car itself, though we know it will be roughly 20 percent smaller than the Model S. The upcoming compact will also user cheaper materials, possibly swapping out aluminum for steel. “I expect there will be very little carry-over,” he says.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard word of a Model E from Tesla, but we still don’t expect to see the car announced for a while. With the Model X set to launch in the second quarter of 2015 it could be over a year before Tesla’s most affordable car hits the market, and the company says it hopes to launch the cheaper compact sometime in 2016.
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