- Tesla plans to build car and battery manufacturing facilities within India, which will also produce a new model in the company’s range
- This would be the cheapest electric car Tesla make so far
- The news comes as Chinese manufacturers continue targeting the budget EV sector.
Tesla’s sub-$25k electric vehicle
Tesla is set to meet with the Indian government to discuss building factories for electric vehicles and batteries within the country, a source has reported to Reuters. These plans include details to produce an electric car locally with a price of around 2m rupees. That’s equivalent to around $24k, or £18.6k.
The surprise report did not delve further into what form the $24k vehicle would take, but we’ve been waiting in anticipation for Tesla to announce its budget electric vehicle to slot in below the Model 3 saloon in its lineup. At this price, it seems likely that this car will be a worldwide model – such as the Tesla Hatchback, which was so far only teased as a silhouette. This is backed up by the source saying that the factory would build EVs for both “the local market and for export”.
This price would seriously undercut rival products such as the Volkswagen ID.3 on price. The starting price is also lower than rivals from Chinese brands, such as the MG4 EV. This rumored price tag would make it one of the cheapest electric cars you can buy.
Tesla has slashed its prices across its model range recently, with CEO Elon Musk indicating that the company is willing to sacrifice profit margins in order to boost sales, which has also had other manufacturers following suit. This rumored starting price suggests the same strategy will be adopted with this new low-price model.
What about something cheaper?
India in particular are fans of affordable EVs and have several options unavailable elsewhere in the world. Take for example, the tiny Citroen Ami-esque MG Comet EV that still seats four, and local company Tata’s Tiago EV supermini. Both these budget options start at the equivalent of around $10,000.
Neither of these models are set to launch in Europe, but there is definitely a market for small, affordable electric cars, as we heard from the audience at EV LIVE earlier this month. On the contrary, however, Honda announced that there will be no successor for the Honda e in Europe with the company solely focussing on electric SUVs.
With the price of the Tesla vehicle reported here, it seems unlikely that the model in particular will go head-to-head with cars such as these. It remains to be seen whether Tesla will produce an even cheaper offering, in a similar form factor.