There’s a lot of ideas floating around out there for what Tesla’s next model should be. During the recent announcement of the Giga Shanghai design studio, an image of a Tesla compact car really got people talking. I’m sure this doesn’t really confirm anything as the China designed Tesla is still years away from even being unveiled, let alone going into production.
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This article comes from the above Tailosive EV video
It did however bring up some good questions. Why hasn’t Tesla, a brand so well-known for their electric cars, made a compact car? Something that’s a little smaller, doesn’t have much storage, but instead is used as a basic commuter car. Ready to get you from home to the grocery store or home to work and back, rather the road trip capable cars made today.
There’s a few theories as to why Tesla hasn’t already done this. A lot of other companies have already revealed and made vehicles available in this segment. They barely get 200 miles of range but are simple to charge due to their smaller battery packs.
Tesla’s goal is to ultimately get more people in gas cars to switch over to electric cars. Because these cars don’t have much range, much storage, or really any ‘wow factor’ at all, it’s hard to get consumers excited. A lot of these vehicles already existed when Tesla began. They were probably aware that you cant convince people to switch to an electric car by telling them they don’t need as much range as a gas car. “You’d be fine with a commuter car, just don’t travel” wasn’t a good selling point.
But now after the tremendous success of the Model 3 and the upcoming likely success of the Model Y, a lot of people are coming back to the idea of liking an electric commuter car. There’s some people in different parts of the world that don’t need cars to drive great distances. Some could simply want a Tesla for their software features, Autopilot, or to say they have a Tesla. They don’t need the extra range and would prefer a car at a more affordable price point.
Even at a sub 200 mile range it would find a place in the market as a Tesla. There’s a lot of very crowded and very condensed places in countries like China or many in Europe that could benefit greatly from a small electric car.
Tesla has mentioned that they will design a new car from within China to sell in masses worldwide. It could very be a commuter car. In countries like the United States, commuter cars are not terribly popular but in places like Europe with a lot of very condensed cities and not many cases of long-distance driving they’re one of the most popular.
I think that once Tesla has proven their point and continue to get more people to adopt electric vehicles you’ll probably see them start diversifying a little bit with their line up. and make something like an ultra-compact Tesla that might even have a range under 200 miles. For many cases that’s not ideal but I think there’s people out there that would consider it especially given the fact that some of these comparable vehicles already sell today. A compact version of a Tesla would probably be the best EV in its class.
We already know Tesla is far more advanced than the competition allowing for a low amount of kilowatt hours to go a great distance. They can probably achieve a similar or higher range than the competition with a smaller battery. An electric cars battery of course is the largest expense.
I’d imagine they would keep features that people love about Tesla like their center display to play games or watch videos. With the cost savings of the smaller battery pack there’s no reason they couldn’t include things like Autopilot or Full Self-Driving. And of course you have one of Tesla’s biggest advantages, their Supercharge Network.
Recharging a smaller battery from a small electric car would be a breeze. You could probably get a full charge over night from home with a standard 110v outlet. Meaning no extra expense of having to install a 220v or special equipment to fast charge your car at home.
It wouldn’t replace a gas car but for someone who knows what they need, not a lot of range or space, it could be cost beneficial. Maybe they already have a second car for travel and just need one to go a to b.
I can see this vehicle selling very well. A lot of people currently have doubts in the company and providing a sub $30,000 car would put a lot of those people to shame. People love their Tesla’s for more than just their cargo space and range. Seamless software, Autopilot features, and constant updates are just some of many reasons people would swap their gas car for one. Making a more affordable small electric car would be a good next step for the company.