As Elon Musk mentioned the night he revealed the “affordable” Model 3 earlier this month, Tesla’s mission has been a path towards marketing attractive, affordable electric vehicles to the masses. At a recent talk in Norway, CEO Elon Musk hinted that a model even more affordable than the $35,000 Model 3 is already in the works.
People always joke about how the supervillains always reveal their plans to the hero in the James Bond movies, but as Elon Musk often illustrates, when your plan is working so well you just have to indulge yourself (he does own the submarine Lotus Esprit from The Spy Who Loved Me).
Musk sat down to chat electric cars at the Transport Solutions conference in Oslo, Norway last week, and in the 35 minute discussion he mentioned that Tesla is already planning on an even more affordable model, which BGR has dubbed the “Model 4,” to slot underneath the new Model 3... eventually.
At the Model 3 launch, Musk outlined how the new “affordable” model was the result of a four-stage plan to bring electric vehicles to the masses, starting with the Roadster, then the Model S, the Model X crossover, and finally arriving at the sub-$35,000 Model 3—which has already received nearly 400,000 deposits.
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While Musk appreciates the Model 3's accessibility to a new segment of the market, claimed to be designed to reach “roughly half of people,” he thinks there’s room for a smaller, cheaper car to reach an even wider scope of customers. And as Tesla’s international network of superchargers and destination chargers grows, as well as its sales and service stations and an increase in the technological capability of batteries, the automaker is already planning to capitalize on the success of the Model 3 with an even lower entry level fourth-generation Tesla.
You can watch Musk’s conference talk below, with the fourth-gen discussion happening around the 12 minute mark:
With something like the Model 3, it’s designed.. such that roughly half of people can afford the car. And then, with fourth generation, and smaller cars and what-not, we’ll ultimately be in the position where almost anyone will be able to afford the car.
This is also the same discussion where Musk dropped hints about a different vehicle or service which many speculate to be an autonomous bus which Gizmodo excellently covered here.
While the fourth-generation isn’t likely more than an internal vision and concept for Tesla at this point, we’ve heard plenty of rumors that the automaker is planning a second, smaller crossover based on the new Model 3 to come likely closer to the end of the decade, with the likely “Model Y” designation to complete Musk’s “S.3.X.Y.” nomenclature.
As for an even more affordable Tesla, when compared to the overnight explosive success of interest in the Model 3, it seems kind of obvious that Musk and Tesla would push to an even wider market with a more affordable model. I think they’ll call it the Model R. S.3.X.Y.R.