Tesla to introduce new $30,000 compact sedan as EV company expands its charging network
In an aggressive move to ramp up its product line-up, Telsa has announced it will build a new compact sedan aimed at competing with the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series.
The new all-electric car will share the same underpinnings as the upcoming new Tesla X crossover vehicle due in 2014, according to a report by Reuters.
News of both the compact car and sedan confirm earlier reports by Tesla CEO Elon Musk that the automaker wants to build on the popularity of the $70,000 Tesla Model S with more affordable EVs.
Musk said the new sedan, known as Generation 3 because it will be built on the Tesla’s third-generation platform, will be priced for around $30,000 and will likely even share some of the Model X’s unique design cues.
The Tesla Model X will likely be targeted at Audi Q3 and BMW X1 crossover, which is priced around $30,000 as well.
Like the Model S, the new sedan and compact crossover will be powered exclusively by electric motors and lithium-ion batteries, as indicated in the Reuters report.
The new vehicles are also being designed to use Tesla’s high-tech fast-charging stations, which are currently being rolled out in cities such as Chicago, Denver, Houston, Seattle and Portland.
By the end of June, Tesla is slated to have 25 of the Supercharger stations in the designated markets with plans for 100 stations by next year and eventually 200 total.
The carmaker currently has eight of the high-tech stations in operation, including one in Connecticut, one in Delaware and six in California, the U.S.’s largest market for EVs.
Tesla’s Supercharger stations, touted by the carmaker as “the fastest charging station on the planet,” can provide half a charge to a vehicle in 20 minutes, according to the carmaker’s website.
It all creates an interesting challenge for other carmakers as Tesla continues to build on its popularity beyond the Model S, as one of the most highly coveted brands in the premium EV market.
By Marcus Amick