Tesla could build cheaper US$25,000 car in three years

Tesla could build cheaper US$25,000 car in three years

Elon Musk has revealed that Tesla could be making more affordable cars that cost under US$25,000 (RM100k) in three years’ time, but the company has to work really hard to do that. In an interview with tech YouTuber Marques Brownlee, the Tesla CEO said there’s definitely room for less expensive, quality cars.

“Yeah, absolutely. A US$25,000 car is something we could do. And if we work really hard we could do that in three years. The key to make it affordable is design, tech improvements and scale,” said Musk. Affordability also comes after having multiple versions and large volume, he added. “It’s a natural progression.”

Meanwhile, Musk also said his team has way more product ideas than resources to execute. The company recently sought refunds from suppliers (money it had spent with them in the past) in order to increase its profitability and improve liquidity. It was even looking to go private with the backing of a Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund.


Currently, Tesla’s most affordable vehicle is the Model 3 (pictured above). When it was revealed to cost around US$35,000 (RM140k), the pre-orders skyrocketed, with 115,000 bookings collected within the first 24 hours. The cheaper US$25,000 model, should it ever become a reality, could potentially create an ever bigger hype.

The Model 3 was originally said to cost around US$35,000 (RM140k), but several reports show that it’s hard to buy one for under US$50,000 (RM200k). Besides production delays and order cancellations, a group of German engineers suggested that it costs approximately US$28,000 to build the Model 3, and about US$10,000 of which is for labour and production costs. The rest are material costs.

For Tesla to sell an electric car at US$25,000, those costs will have to be much lower. Just as a comparison, the Hyundai Ioniq Electric is one of the most affordable EVs in the United States, with a starting price of US$29,500 (RM118k). So, what do you think? Could Tesla, a small-scale automaker, have the economies of scale to sell a car at US$25,000?

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Matthew H Tong

An ardent believer that fun cars need not be fast and fast cars may not always be fun. Matt advocates the purity and simplicity of manually swapping cogs while coping in silence of its impending doom. Matt's not hot. Never hot.



  • TopsyBoxyTurvy on Aug 21, 2018 at 11:58 am

    Tesla could build cheaper US$25k EV, sounds exactly like some bollocks claim MY become high income nation by 2020. Lolz

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 13
    • That ‘bollock’ is now back as our leader again. huhuhuhu

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
      • Muhd Latiff Ibrahim on Aug 21, 2018 at 10:15 pm

        I wonder what happened to the 100 Teslas bought by the Malaysian Government at RM1 mil each for “research” purposes?

        Apa jadi bang?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6
        • Why ask me? Ask Greentech as they are the ones that brought them in, and last we heard Greentech isn’t the Malaysian Government. So stop spread fakes news again.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1
  • Engineer on Aug 21, 2018 at 11:59 am

    More important question: Will they last 3 years?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 16
    • Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy. Since our founding in 2003, Tesla has broken new barriers in developing high-performance automobiles that are not only the world’s best and highest-selling pure electric vehicles—with long range and absolutely no tailpipe emissions—but also the safest, highest-rated cars on the road in the world. Beyond the flagship Model S sedan as well as the falcon-winged door Model X sports utility vehicle, we plan on launching our new Model 3 sedan later this year at a base price of $35,000 that we expect to truly propel electric vehicles into the mainstream.

      In addition, with the opening of the Gigafactory and the acquisition of SolarCity, Tesla now offers a full suite of energy products that incorporates solar, storage, and grid services. As the world’s only fully integrated sustainable energy company, Tesla is at the vanguard of the world’s inevitable shift towards a sustainable energy platform.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2
      • History Bender on Aug 21, 2018 at 3:57 pm

        Proton was also a vanguard in showing the world that ASEAN nations can come out with indigenous car but look where it got them? No point being a vanguard of something if the end result is abject failure.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1
        • Muhd Latiff Ibrahim on Aug 21, 2018 at 10:16 pm

          Proton is lazy. Tesla is hardworking. You cannot compare both

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3
          • Yeah yeah. Hardworking at losing money. They were losing USD $750mil by the quarters. Ha ha ha!

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 8
          • azraffi on Aug 25, 2018 at 10:02 am

            every tesla car sells, they loose $4000 every car they sell.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
      • Hahaha on Aug 21, 2018 at 7:25 pm

        Talk is cheap… deliver model 3 first… this joker is creating hype… don’t think many will fall for his antics anymore…

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 10
  • azrai on Aug 21, 2018 at 11:59 am

    I see in 3 years time Tesla will fall into Geely’s Group (li Shufung) if they keep bleeding and cannot sustained needed production volume.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 10
    • Revolution on Aug 21, 2018 at 8:28 pm

      The same predicted 5 years ago, indeed, which expecting them to be another US car maker which needs bailout. But that doesn’t happened. It became benchmark for other car makers including the big brothers to produce more competitive EV. Eventually the lost which is their investment for a better future.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2
  • Se Won on Aug 21, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    Hahaha. Is Elon on ketum? Model 3 were given unanimously negative reviews from motoring journalist all over US. It’s so bad, some even compared to GM and Kia/Hyundai cars from the 90s. Elon can’t even get the engineering basics right (panel gaps, poor fitment, etc. to name a few). The latest is Model 3’s bumper cover fell off all due to insufficient clip supports (or lack of). Please improve your manufacturing and quality issues before lamenting about another affordable electric.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 17
  • Ahmadjr on Aug 21, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    Perotiga > tesla

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • Mikey on Aug 21, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    By the time Tesla build a cheaper US25k EV in 3 years(that is if they survive), the Hyundai Ioniq EV have already conquer the US.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9
  • Silent, green but fast vehicle on Aug 21, 2018 at 3:32 pm

    To be honest I only scroll through paultan to find news on EV especially for Malaysia. If I found nothing, immediately kolos. Bugatti or Ferrari whatever crap I am not interested.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • Will Mac on Aug 21, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    Ironically Fisker had a v pretty tesla 3 type car in development when they went under. Tesla lost valuable momentum and money on that huge falcon door thing. That means the 3 was always going to be a compromised car, rushed out too quickly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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