Tesla Sets Sights on Affordable EVs: Plans to Launch New Models by Mid-2025
Tesla Sets Sights on Affordable EVs: Plans to Launch New Models by Mid-2025

Tesla is gearing up for a groundbreaking move in the electric vehicle (EV) market, announcing plans to launch a new lineup of affordable electric cars by mid-2025. This comes on the heels of BYD (Build Your Dreams) surpassing Tesla as the world's leading EV manufacturer in the final quarter of 2023.

Elon Musk, Tesla's CEO, originally pledged to unveil a $25,000 car back in 2020, a promise that underwent a series of shelving and revival. Presently, Tesla's most budget-friendly option, the Model 3 sedan, starts at $38,990 in the United States.

Expressing concerns about the potential impact of high-interest rates on consumer demand for substantial purchases like cars, Musk initiated the process by sending out "requests for quotes" for the anticipated "Redwood" model to suppliers last year. The proposed production volume is an ambitious 10,000 vehicles per week, with production slated to commence in June 2025, as disclosed by anonymous sources close to the matter.

Tesla has remained tight-lipped about these developments, not responding to requests for comments. Investors are eagerly awaiting the details, particularly the timing of the release of next-generation compact vehicles. The anticipation builds as Tesla's quarterly results report approaches, where a modest 21% rise in 2024 deliveries is expected, falling short of Musk's previously set long-term annual target of 50%.

In a bid to stay ahead, Musk revealed last year that Tesla is actively working on two groundbreaking products with the potential for combined sales of 5 million vehicles annually. These include an inexpensive robotaxi and a pocket-friendly, $25,000 electric car, both sharing the same vehicle architecture.

Despite Musk's optimistic projections, Tesla has a history of missing launch targets and facing challenges with pricing. The production of the Cybertruck, for instance, has experienced delays, with the current starting price of $60,990 in the U.S. being 50% higher than initially touted in 2019.

Tesla's pursuit of affordable EVs has led to an in-depth study of cost-effective vehicle manufacturing. The company reportedly dismantled a Honda Civic, priced at $23,950 in the U.S., to glean insights on producing more economical cars. The forthcoming "Redwood" model, part of Tesla's next-generation architecture referred to as "NV9X," aims to tap into the mass market, competing with less expensive gasoline-powered cars and rivaling the likes of BYD in the EV space.

In BYD's corner, the Chinese company, acronym for "Build Your Dreams," has emerged as a formidable force in the EV market since its inception in 1995. Originally a rechargeable battery manufacturer, BYD expanded into the auto business in 2003. Bolstered by the support of renowned U.S. investor Warren Buffett since 2008, BYD outpaced Tesla in 2023, producing 3.02 million new energy vehicles compared to Tesla's 1.84 million.

BYD's dominance extends beyond cars, with innovative technology spanning buses, trucks, forklifts, and rail systems. Notably, BYD has held the title of the best-selling car brand in China since the first quarter of 2023. As Tesla charts its course towards more accessible EVs, the competition in the global electric vehicle arena promises to intensify.

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