Elon Musk Promises to Make a $25,000 Tesla


Elon Musk Promises to Make a $25,000 Tesla (in 3 Years)

Tesla said it was working on advances that would lower the cost of batteries and increase their capacity to store energy.

Tesla is working on cheaper, more powerful batteries for its electric cars, but many of the required innovations are still works in progress, its chief executive, Elon Musk, said Tuesday at a much anticipated presentation at the company’s California factory.

The advances could ultimately cut battery costs more than 50 percent and increase the distance Tesla’s vehicles can travel by nearly as much. That would set the stage for the company to make a “compelling” $25,000 electric vehicle three years from now, Mr. Musk said, speaking to a parking lot full of Tesla owners in their vehicles, honking in approval.

But Mr. Musk, who has a reputation for promising game-changing innovations that often take far longer than expected or never arrive, said the company had not yet made the advances needed to get to that point.

Investors were hoping that Mr. Musk would announce a major technical breakthrough, in part because of the way Tesla had pitched the Tuesday event, which it called “Battery Day.” Tesla’s stock was down about 7 percent in extended trading Tuesday afternoon after falling more than 5 percent in regular trading.

As anticipation for the presentation built in recent days, Mr. Musk sought to temper expectations, writing on Twitter on Monday that the battery announcement would affect long-term production of Tesla’s vehicles, including several that have yet to be introduced, but would not have an immediate effect on its business.

Battery efficiency is central to success in the electric car market. The cost of batteries typically is the single biggest expense in producing such cars. And a vehicle’s range — the distance it can travel on a single charge — is critically important. A longer range means less worry about hunting for a charging station.

Tesla has an edge, for now. The company’s Model S Long Range Plus can complete a 400-mile journey without needing to be recharged, which is much farther than electric cars made by traditional automakers like Audi, General Motors and Jaguar. But an upstart rival, Lucid Air, which is run by a former Tesla engineer, says it has developed a car that can go more than 500 miles on a single charge.

Mr. Musk and Mr. Baglino framed the race to build a cheaper, more energy-dense battery as more than a corporate goal. They said it would be an important tool in the fight against climate change.

Source: nytimes.com

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