Tesla is no doubt waist-deep in a lot of work between the construction of three factories, preparation of the Cybertruck, Semi, and Roadster, on top of all their usual day to day production, but still, its fun to speculate. What will be the next Tesla to be announced?
We know its greedy to think of what new car will Tesla give us while they still have 3 models of electric vehicles that haven’t been even released, but with the rapid expansion and lightning pace that the company works at, it wouldn’t surprise us if there will be a new car announcement sooner than most people think. Although we still feel that any new car that might be announced will still be a long way down the road.
A lot of the speculation is not unwarranted as there have been mentions of different unannounced Tesla vehicles, even if it was just Musk thinking out loud via Twitter.
Tesla Small Truck
The most recent breadcrumb came a week ago when Musk reaffirmed that a smaller truck would “highly likely” be making its way following the Cybertruck.
Highly likely down the road
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 4, 2020
With such a vague ‘confirmation’ it leaves a lot of additional questions. Where will it be built? Will it be exclusive to countries where smaller cars are more popular? Will it just be small truck, or will it be a small Cybertruck, as in, will it also feature the same radical cyberpunk design?
It might be a good chance to win back the potential customers that were alienated by the Cybertruck’s design, but given the apparent popularity of the Cybertruck through unofficial preorder numbers, Tesla might keep the design for a smaller truck.
Tesla Compact Car
The next candidate and probably more likely is an electric compact car. Whispers of a potential compact car were heightened towards the beginning of production of the Shanghai Gigafactory where it was revealed that Tesla would have a separate design center that would be built in China and will one day design a car that will hopefully have a worldwide release. A small sketch was shared with the announcement, detailing a compact Tesla.
Tesla has always been on the stated mission of providing as affordable an electric car as they could. While the $35,000 Model 3 was kinda-sorta achieved, I am sure that Tesla would love to go even lower, especially in markets like China.
With the compact car slot still not filled in the lineup and the mission statement of providing more affordable electric cars, it is a no-brainer that Tesla would eventually come with a compact electric car of their own. The question then becomes, will they compromise on the range?
Tesla recently canceled the single-motor Model Y due to them having troubles getting the range over 250 miles, which Musk deems as an unacceptable range. But if the goal is to perhaps have an electric car that is below $30,000, will Tesla bend that rule?
There are of course many different factors that play into that answer. The biggest of which is time. I do not expect a compact car from Tesla anywhere within four years from now, which gives them a lot of time to make batteries cheaper and have higher energy capacities, possibly making a 300-mile range available even in a cheap car.
Another thing that could happen in the event where batteries cannot get down in price is for Tesla to have a China-exclusive version of the car which might skirt their 250-mile rule, but come at a significantly lower price than what might be offered to the rest of the world (or hey, have the super cheap one available everywhere too, who knows?)
Model S/X Refresh
While not technically a new model, with how old the design of the Model S and X have been, many people have been asking for a pretty significant update to the electric cars.
The two models have been getting constant updates to their powertrain, but inside and out, the two have not changed too much from their initial iterations. Rumors of an interior refresh have been spread for the past few years, but not much has come of it.
The upcoming Plaid tri-motor version of the Model S is expected sometime in the fall, but it remains doubtful that the body and interior will see any major differences. Electrek recently reported the existence of “Project Palladium” that is responsible for future upgrades to the powertrain and batteries of the Model S/X, but it does not seem that a design refresh is included in their work. Though, the details about the project are extremely limited, so who knows.
Model S/X sales have been declining over the past few years and unfortunately the two responses to that are completely different from one another. On one hand, Tesla could try to excite customers by having a model refresh and increasing interest, or they could see that it is not worth the effort with their attention set towards their high volume vehicles such as the Model 3/Y and upcoming Cybertruck.
I remain doubtful that we will see a meaningful design refresh of the Model S/X anytime soon, if ever.
Possibly Something Else?
While Tesla has their bases covered, there are a few missing spots in their lineup that might come as wildcard pick from Tesla. One of which is van/minivan, which might sound silly, but there has been some precedence to speculate if a Tesla van might make its way to the streets one day.
Lot on our plate, so it’s either get van gliders (no battery, powertrain or compute tech) from Daimler & produce sooner or do all & produce later. Not a big difference to total vehicles produced either way. Priority list is Model Y, solar roof tiles, pickup, semi, Roadster.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 19, 2018
Not much news about a Tesla van has appeared since then, but having a service fleet of electric vans and possibly allowing for another revenue stream from commercial customers doesn’t seem like too bad of an idea.
Another hole in the Tesla lineup would be a large electric SUV, something that could go up against something like a Rivian R1T. Again, there hasn’t been much word about a large electric SUV, but it a vehicle segment that currently isn’t covered by Tesla.
There could also be something really ridiculous, like Tesla announcing an electric motorcycle or jetski, which is extremely doubtful, but you just never know.
With all that in mind, I believe that the next car from Tesla will be an electric compact car that might start production sometime in 2024, or maybe even later.
What do you guys think will be the next model from Tesla and when do you think it will start production? Let us know down in the comments below.