Tesla has many upcoming vehicles in the pipeline, but it hasn't really made much progress on bringing them to market. We're talking about the popular Tesla Cybertruck, next-gen Roadster, and Tesla Semi. However, there has also been talk about a smaller, cheaper Tesla car, perhaps a compact hatchback that starts at $25,000 (approx. £18,000).
Tesla is already receiving record orders, it's reportedly sold out in many areas for many months, and it can't possibly produce enough vehicles to satisfy demand. Clearly, bringing more vehicles to market at this time would just make the situation even more difficult.
Nonetheless, CEO Elon Musk has made it clear he thinks a future Tesla compact car good idea. In fact, the company has already gone so far as to try to recruit folks in China to design the car. More specifically, the car will be designed and produced in China, but sold across the globe.
Now, a recent report on Autocar sheds some new light on the upcoming "cheap" Tesla. The publication points to Tesla's most successful quarterly sales in its 13-year history, writing that Tesla is working to "cement itself as the world’s leading electric vehicle brand in the face of fierce competition from established manufacturers." This, via a compact hot hatch to compete with the likes of the Volkswagen ID.3, Nissan LEAF, and Kia Niro EV.
Autocar says the Tesla hatchback will go on sale in 2023. It will be the cheapest car Tesla has ever produced, and by a wide margin. With Model 3 sales proving that an EV can appeal to the mass market, a cheaper, compact car would likely sell extremely well, though Tesla will likely need all of its factories online and at full capacity to keep up with demand.
In addition, Tesla will need many conditions in place to successfully produce a £18,000 car without losing money. Its upcoming 4680 battery cells are perhaps the most important to the project, and it seems they could be still far off.
The all-new Model S Plaid isn't using 4680 cells, and the Plaid+ was cancelled. Many folks have speculated that the Plaid+ isn't possible without the new cells, and the same could be true of the upcoming Cybertruck and other future Tesla vehicles.
We can expect the Tesla compact hatchback to offer incredible acceleration, as well as a range of at least 250 miles. Tesla says the unspecified upcoming product will follow the Semi, Cybertruck, and Roadster.