Tesla Will Unveil Electric SUV in 2011 and a $30K Electric Car in 2015
Talk is cheap, and Tesla's CEO Elon Musk is using it to make some pretty bold claims about the future of the company. At the Cleantech Investor Summit in Palm Springs, California, yesterday, Musk told a crowd that Tesla would be unveiling their own electric SUV—the Model X—later this year (the company is also the powertrain and battery supplier for the upcoming 2nd generation Toyota RAV4 EV due out in 2012). As a bit of icing on the talk cake, Musk also said that they were on track to sell a $30,000 Tesla vehicle within four years.
While it's true that a start-up like Tesla lives and dies on selling promises to investors, given Tesla's recent winning streak (a successful IPO, a rolling Model S prototype, and some amazing EV engineering), I'm inclined to give Musk the benefit of the doubt. The Model S is one sexy and well-designed electric car—and it's an all-American affair. If Tesla could make a $30,000 vehicle with even half the je ne sais quoi of the $57,000 Model S, it would be an amazing feat for a fledgling automaker. Also, launching their own electric SUV would be no small accomplishment in and of itself.
And, in case you were worried that Musk wouldn't cash in on his cheap talk payday loan, he let those lips fly saying that electric cars are set to sweep the country in an agressive way. According to Musk, by 2020 long range EV batteries will be incredibly cheap and that by 2030 only electric cars will be available for sale in the U.S. Oh yeah, by 2050 almost every vehicle on the road will be electric and almost all transportation—except for rockets—will be electrified.
While we here at PluginCars.com are quite clearly EV supporters, the realists in us take Musk's comments with a grain of salt. You gotta hand it to the man, though, he is an inspiring visionary.
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