Tesla has completed design and manufacture of a $US25,000 electric hatch dubbed the “Model 2”, reports out of China say.
A budget electric car from Tesla (which would undercut even the Nissan Leaf that is now the cheapest EV in the US at $28,375) was touted by Tesla CEO and co-founder Elon Musk at the company’s Battery Day in late 2020 as he revealed Tesla’s plans to sell 30 million EVs a year by 2026.
Musk’s comments firmed up rumours that a cheaper electric hatch would materialise after Tesla advertised for design staff for its Shanghai Design Centre along with an image of a hatch-like sketch in early 2020, and more recently Chinese reports suggested that a launch for the “Model 2” would happen by late 2021.
The latest whispers come via a Chinese Tesla insider known as “不是郑小康 ” who has reportedly broken news successfully about the EV maker in past. For this reason, the rumour has been described as “weighty” by another Tesla afficianado Ray4Tesla.
“The elusive cheaper compact Model Whatever may come sooner than you think. The prototype is said to have been completed & most component suppliers have been lined up. Trial production has been planned for the end of 2021,” said Ray4Tesla.
I would put some weight on this rumor as it comes from a pretty reliable source (不是郑小康). He brought several leaks to surface before, which later turned out to be true. However, like anything else, past performance is no guarantee of future results. Take it w/ a grain of salt
— Ray4Tesla⚡️🚘☀️🔋 (@ray4tesla) July 30, 2021
While Ray4Tesla added he thinks the rumour should be taken with a grain of salt, it would seem reports are mounting. That said, previous rumours fed by the Tesla media mill about a “million mile battery” that would be announced at Battery Day did not come to fruition.
Given Tesla, along with other manufacturers, is currently grappling with a semiconductor shortage and other material supply chain issues we suspect that even if this rumour does prove to be true, a 2022 production launch would be the earliest possible timeline.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and 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. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.