Tesla’s image has been overshadowed in recent months by Elon Musk’s antics surrounding its Twitter acquisition. But the car company is doing well even though its stock price has fallen like a stone. Tesla said he will sell a record 1.3 million cars in 2022, with the Model Y doing especially well. For example, it was the number three car sold in the UK. But one of his things that could bring Tesla’s cars back into the public eye in a more positive light is the arrival of the next-generation platform. Here’s what we know so far.
Tesla’s next-generation platform will be cheaper
The excitement about the new platform is because, reading between the lines, this is the basis for the long-awaited “$25,000 Tesla.” This has been delayed and is unlikely to reach the 2023/4 timeframe originally scheduled for 2020, but it appears to be underway. Taken from the Tesla earnings call in the third quarter.
The first details Musk leaked back in October were that the next-generation platform will cost half what the current Model 3/Y platform costs to manufacture, dramatically lowering those prices compared to the Model S and Model X. That’s what I did. The 3 isn’t half the price of the S, and the Y isn’t half the price of the X, so don’t expect a car based on the new platform to be half the Model 3/Y. Cheap on another level.
Mass production expected, but not until 2025, but after
The new platform will be Tesla’s third mainstream platform. Musk claimed that production would be significantly higher than the Model 3 and Model Y, and in fact more than all other Tesla vehicles combined. The large chassis He takes full advantage of the production enhancement potential such as the Giga He press which monolithically casts the section.
However, while those volumes are likely to arrive after 2025, Musk claims the Gen 3 platform will be “the primary focus of vehicle development teams” going forward. This is because the Semi-truck is finally shipping and Cybertruck production is set to begin in earnest, so these will be the main new products for the next few years.
4680 battery takes center stage
The new platform will be the smallest Tesla has ever built. That capability revolves around the new 4680 battery that’s finally starting to show up in volume. In December 2022, Tesla confirmed that in a week he could produce 4680 cells, enough for 1,000 cars. Christmas 2022, The company claimed to have built 868,000 cells in the previous weekThe low manufacturing cost of the 4680 cells and the structural battery configuration (the battery’s rigidity forms part of the chassis, reducing the need for a separate structure) helps keep costs down.
Some predict the new Tesla will have a range of less than 200 miles, but that seems unlikely given that Elon Musk doesn’t like building cars that can go less than 300 miles. The Model Y rear-wheel drive can only manage 267 miles (WLTP), which is the only Tesla under 300 miles of his that you can buy right now. Tesla may be planning a more urban-oriented vehicle that doesn’t need to drive hundreds of miles a day, but in the U.S. market, a future Tesla could drop well below his 300 miles. is considered low. Battery price cuts may be a bit of a dead end, but the direction is downward, so 300 miles isn’t out of the question for him in a small cheap car. After all, MG is approaching that range with his budget-busting MG4.
Still Fast, Yet Autonomous
Another factor that can be taken for granted is that Teslas are consistently fast. The Model Y rear-wheel drive is the slowest model currently available and can still reach 60 mph in 6.6 seconds. This would be fast for a hot hatch, let alone an SUV. So you can expect a smaller Tesla to be at least as fast, and there will probably be a performance dual-motor version closer to the speed of the Model 3 and Y Performance. For all the European ‘boy racers’ looking for a fast electric hatchback to intimidate their neighborhood, this could be their dream come true.
Another feature that can be guaranteed is that all vehicles will achieve a certain level of autonomous driving. This was Musk’s promise for his $25,000 car discussed at Battery Day 2020. I recently predicted that FSD will be released to the general public in his 2023. That’s thanks to his massive beta testing of 160,000 drivers in the US and his Dojo supercomputer for massive model computation coming online this year. Tesla is about to complete this system with cameras exclusively via Tesla Vision, so it’s not that big of a leap to expect it to be implemented cheaply in budget vehicles. In fact, Musk claims the next-generation platform will form the basis for the robo-taxis he claims will hit the streets in 2020.
We’ll have to wait a little longer for exact technical details about Tesla’s next-generation platform and its vehicles. It will be announced at Investor Day on March 1, 2023. But with a key piece of the puzzle, his 4680 cell production ramping up, the next era of Tesla dominance in EVs is inexorably approaching. It may be just in time, if American companies don’t see themselves being taken over by Chinese brands such as BYD and SAIC, which are beginning to look beyond the local market. Tesla’s next-generation platform will need to bring a truly affordable EV to market in order to move beyond luxury cars and into the mass market.