Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that the automaker will introduce its smaller electric sedan, with a 200-miles range, in late 2016.
Tesla’s smaller electric sedan or the Gen III vehicle is expected to be priced the same as Nissan’s Leaf and have a range of at least 200 miles. The price for the current Model S is $62,400. Regarding the Gen III, Musk said that it will have a design which will be similar to the current lineup and that it might be fitted with some ‘autopilot or self-driving elements’, but not when the car will go on sale.
“A significant improvement in technology is needed to have a compelling affordable electric car. To be compelling, it must have a useful range of 200 miles,” Musk said.
Demand in the US for the Model S sedan is at steady levels of 15,000 units annually and Tesla will begin exporting vehicles to Europe at the end of this month and to Asia during the fourth quarter. Adding these two markets the annualized demand reaches 40,000 units. Regarding the automaker’s cash, Musk said that after paying the US Department of Energy loan the company still has $760 million.
“That is sufficient cash to survive a natural disaster, like an earthquake in California or a supplier going bankrupt, so as not to be flying at treetop level,” Musk said. “Not that we want to be less cautious about our cash management, but the [extra cash] means, even if we suck at cash management, we’ll be okay.”