Tesla appears to be taking another step towards its expected “Model 2” electric hatchback that was first mused by CEO and co-founder Elon Musk at the company’s Battery Day in 2020, and even perhaps a whole range of new EV designs.
The EV maker has added a new page to its Chinese website inviting people to apply for what would undoubtedly be a highly-coveted position: Design leader for the upcoming Tesla China Design Centre.
The page reads: “Build the future leading the Tesla China design team,” and then clicks through to a job application page that reads: “As a Leader at Tesla’s China Design Studio, you will be responsible for leading the design development of Tesla vehicles. You will be part of the team that creates and executes world-class vehicles in terms of form, function and luxury.”
Tesla currently sells four production vehicles: the Model 3, the Model Y (which is not yet available in Australia), the Model X and the Model S. It also has an electric utility vehicle, the Cybertruck, planned which will be made at its upcoming EV and battery factory in Texas.
It is thought that Tesla intends to unveil another EV in late 2021 – a small electric hatch nicknamed the “Model 2” that would sell for $US25,000 (about $A32,700 converted), that Tesla China boss Tom Zhu also hinted at recently.
It may only sell it at first in Asia, where small city-style cars are topsellers – take the tiny and super-cheap Wuling Mini EV for example, which whipped Tesla in EV sales in China in February.
A new post by Tesla on Weibo that reads, “Subvert conventions, break traditional boundaries, and lead the reconstruction of design,” is accompanied by a video (below) shared by Electrek that shows Tesla chief designer Franz von Holzhausen apparently at the new Tesla China Design studio being handed a new design, and asking, “Who did this?”
It would be folly to expect that this will be the only new electric vehicle to come forth from Tesla, as the job application details suggest. In fact, given the Design Leader page on the Tesla website shows a Cybertruck, perhaps Tesla has more than city EVs in mind for China. Or perhaps we’re reading too much into this.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.