Tesla CEO Elon Musk keeps looking the EV maker’s long-term expansion plans, revealing that a compact car is a priority for the European market.
Musk, speaking at an online battery conference hosted by the German government, came to the realization during a recent trip to Berlin, where the company is building its first European gigafactory. He said traveling through the narrow city streets was difficult with parking being nearly impossible in the company’s Model X.
“Possibly in Europe it wold make sense to do, I guess, a compact car, perhaps a hatchback or something like that,” he said, according to Reuters. “In the U.S., the cars tend to be bigger for personal taste reasons” adding “in Europe, (they) tend to be smaller.”
The creation of a compact model isn’t revolutionary, as it’s always been part of the plan, but the timetable was a bit muddy. He referenced the move during the company’s annual meeting in September. He said the company was pushing ahead on an as-yet-named $25,000 car.
He noted that the company is “confident” it can design and manufacture a “compelling $25,000 electric vehicle so, you know, this has always been my dream from the beginning of the company.” Musk also added that the new $25K EV would be autonomous and it would cost less to operate and maintain than a gas- or diesel-powered for the same price.
A compact car would be ideal as all of the company’s current vehicles, four in all, are larger than what is considered the standard compact sedan in Germany. Giga Berlin is progressing, but outside of the Model 3 and Model Y, there are no vehicles committed to the location, which is expected to begin producing vehicles in the second half of next year.
Musk also noted the company will begin to market its Cybertruck within two years on a global basis. He wasn’t clear about if that meant it would begin trying to sell the unique looking pickup in markets outside the U.S. at that time or that deliveries would begin in the fourth quarter of 2022. If the latter is the case, that potentially represents a significant shift in the vehicle’s timeline.
Additionally, Musk revealed that the company will build two version of the Cybertruck. He said the company had at least 600,000 pre-orders for the uniquely designed pickup truck, which is slated to be built at its future Gigafactory Texas, just outside of Austin, Texas.
During the company’s third-quarter earnings call Musk confirmed that Cybertruck deliveries would begin “toward the end of next year.” He said the company could produce between 250,000 and 300,000 annually to meet demand.
He also noted that while the company wanted to try to build one version that could be sold globally, but the specs for the U.S. truck and mandates for global requirements “basically you can’t make this truck, it’s impossible.” The U.S version will be slightly larger than its international counterpart, which he described as a “tight Wolverine package.”