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Three more Tesla products on the way as Elon Musk says Tesla demand is only limited by the up-front cost of the vehicle

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Not one, but three new Tesla Models on the way.
Not one, but three new Tesla Models on the way.

At a Tesla investor briefing Elon Musk teased three new vehicles, saying reductions in the cost of Tesla vehicles “is essential going forward.”

Accompanying a slide showing three new products under a shroud, Musk said, “Obviously we’ve got some new products we’re working on under the covers. These are going to be pretty special. Some of them people, at first, might think ‘it might not be amazing’. But just wait, it will be.” he said.

The slide shows two small traditionally-shaped silhouettes, alongside a boxier silhouette which some are suggesting could be a delivery van.

This could provide Tesla with a viable opponent to Rivian’s electric delivery van, which the US start-up has sold en masse to Amazon to help it decarbonise its operations. The van has helped Rivian stay afloat as it attempts to scale to mass production before it runs out of cash.

One of the silhouettes is likely the much-hyped ‘robotaxi’ or ‘cybercab’, a purpose-built self-driving vehicle that Musk has previously stated will usher in a new phase of growth for the brand. Tesla has already announced it intends to reveal this model on the eighth of August 2024, so expect to learn more then.

The other product is a mystery.

One option could be the low-cost so-called ‘Model 2’, which was originally planned to cost “around US$25,000 ($38,000)” and launch in 2025 on a new small vehicle platform.

An explosive Reuters report earlier this year cited unnamed sourced within the company who claimed the model had been axed in favour of the robotaxi, but Musk was soon to refute this claim on X, providing no additional details.

Musk spoke at length about the brand needing to reduce the cost of entry to unlock more demand, which adds a bit of substance to the Model 2 claim.

During the Q&A session, Musk said: “The biggest thing we see is that people can’t afford the car. That’s the limit on demand. If Model Y cost less than US$20K, it would sell probably five million units. Like, it would be insane.”

“That’s not feasible today, but working out ways to make more affordable vehicles is the game changer. For most people, it’s not a question of whether they want a Tesla. They want a Tesla, they simply don’t have enough money to afford one. So we’ve got to make it affordable, that’s essential.”

He also stated that it takes a significant amount of time and investment to reduce the price to the levels we’ve seen today for existing products.

“It’s 100 times harder to go from prototype to production” he said, referring to the Cybertruck, “Then to improve the price? [To reduce] the cost of goods by 20 per cent is harder than reaching production in the first place. Like, it’s mega pain. It’s not the funnest job in the world.”

Musk also talked at length about upcoming upgrades to the brand’s controversial ‘Full Self Driving’ suite, which continues to be a $10,100 software option on a Model 3. In Australia it only adds traffic light and stop sign control on top of the $5100 ‘Enhanced Autopilot’ option, with ‘autosteer on city streets’ still being earmarked as ‘upcoming’.

Musk said the incoming version of the software was producing “a lower intervention count” and was “pretty close to removing all static object collisions” requiring a human to take over much less frequently. Musk also said Tesla would look to roll out two-week free trials when new updates were shipped so existing users could experience the tech before taking the dive on such an expensive option.

The upgraded Model Y, codenamed ‘Juniper’, which is expected to follow in the footsteps of the deeply facelifted Model 3 that launched locally in late 2023 wasn’t mentioned as part of the investor presentation, and Musk recently took to X to say “No Model Y ‘refresh’ is coming out this year.”

The brand re-iterated that the Model Y was the world’s best selling vehicle in 2023, and that Tesla was holding off its rivals as the world’s biggest seller of electric vehicles (but only just, with . China’s BYD is very close behind).

Other plans earmarked during the presentation included half a billion dollars worth of new Supercharger hardware globally, new in-car computer hardware to be rolled out in the near future (which Musk referred to as ‘hardware five’ whilst also claiming there was more performance to be had from 'hardware four' in existing vehicles), as well as the potential to use this hardware in idle vehicles as a type of cloud computing solution, which Musk likened to Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Tesla is facing adverse conditions in much of the world, as EV demand plateaus in some of the largest and more important markets. Musk said while some of the world's biggest automakers were scaling back their plans and volume predictions as a result, “We’re going to increase, but it’s not an easy market.”

Stay tuned as we learn more about the brand’s robotaxi product in early August.

Tom White
Senior Journalist
Despite studying ancient history and law at university, it makes sense Tom ended up writing about cars, as he spent the majority of his waking hours finding ways to drive as many as possible. His fascination with automobiles was also accompanied by an affinity for technology growing up, and he is just as comfortable tinkering with gadgets as he is behind the wheel. His time at CarsGuide has given him a nose for industry news and developments at the forefront of car technology.
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