Tesla could roll out its entry-level $25,000 electric vehicle much earlier than we had expected.
According to Tesla Facts, who shared China web media researcher’s “Moneyball” findings on Twitter, documents from Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory recently submitted to the Chinese government mention commencing production of a cheaper third model as soon as 2022. In preparation for this model, the automaker has started accepting design submissions as well as hiring people for the project. It is also claimed that the new car was approved as early as September 2020 and that production verification will be completed in March 2021.
Specifics about the vehicle remain unclear but it is expected to be based on Model 3’s chassis and use Tesla’s new 4680 battery cells.
Read Also: Chinese Rivals Welcome Competition From Tesla’s $25,000 EV
When first announced by Elon Musk last year, it was thought production of the entry-level Tesla model would start sometime around 2024 or 2025.
Tesla "Model $25k" being accelerated to 2022 is news: previous assumption was 2024-2025, and few TSLA valuation models include it.
With a $25k entry price Tesla can cover ~90% of the $5t automotive market by revenue (!).
It's the ultimate killer blow to legacy auto. https://t.co/doQX1h8hxV
— (@truth_tesla) January 8, 2021
Despite what the Gigafactory Shanghai documents state, its uncertain that the vehicle will launch in 2022. For example, Electrek notes that Tesla needs to significantly ramp up production of the 4680 battery cells to make the vehicle a reality. It will also likely take some time for Tesla to get its new structural battery pack design ready for production. Tesla also has a long history of missing its production targets (except for the Model Y) and already has a lot on its plate, including the Cybertruck and constructing its new in Berlin.
Regardless of when the new model launches, it could very well prove to be Tesla’s most popular model and may sell particularly well in China.
Note: Tesla’s ‘China-Style’ EV sketch pictured above