It will cost less to build and will be smaller than current offerings.
Starting at just under $136,000, the Tesla Model S Plaid is not exactly cheap. Even the Model 3 costs over $60,000 now, but at one point, company CEO Elon Musk promised that his company would eventually offer a small EV that would cost just $25,000. Then, at the beginning of this year, he did a complete u-turn on that, saying that Tesla had too much on its plate. However, Musk did say that "at some point," Tesla would follow through.
We're not so sure that $25,000 is a realistic price for a Tesla anymore, but whatever it costs, a smaller, more affordable car is coming, thanks to Tesla's next-generation car platform. The news came via Musk himself on the Q3 2022 earnings call.
As reported by Electrek, Musk said, "It's the primary focus of our new vehicle development team, obviously. At this point, we are done with the engineering for Cybertrucks and for Semi. So, it's obviously what we're working on, the next-generation vehicle, which will be, probably be, about half the cost of the 3 and Y platform. It will be smaller, to be clear."
So the new platform will be cheaper to produce, and it will be smaller, but $25,000 is a price that you can only find associated with a Chevrolet Bolt. Expect Tesla's new car to cost between $25,000 and $35,000.
Although his immediate concerns are tooling for the Cybertruck and getting production of the Semi truck underway, Musk has high expectations of this new platform, which he expects will produce more volume than "all of Tesla's other vehicles combined," adding, "Obviously, we're going to take everything we learned from S, X, 3, Y, Cybertruck and Semi into that platform. But we are on a 2-for-1 target. We're trying to get to that 50% [of cost] number again."
If Tesla can reduce its costs, labor, and space use by half, it will be incredibly efficient, and that should translate to more affordable cars. We wouldn't put too much faith in the numbers that Musk has given here, as he tends to be overoptimistic in these matters, but the end goal of more affordable electric cars for all is one that Musk and Tesla have been promising for ages, and it's encouraging to see some work being done to get closer to that goal.