Tesla exec hints at cheaper electric cars ahead of robotaxi service

A Tesla executive hinted that the automaker is offering cheaper electric cars before launching its robotaxi service.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently said he was “embarrassed” by how expensive the automaker’s electric cars are right now.

With inflation, the rising cost of battery materials and strong demand, Tesla’s prices have risen significantly across its lineup of electric vehicles over the past two years.

Now the cheapest Tesla you can buy starts at $46,000 in the US, and the Model Y, Tesla’s most popular vehicle, starts at $66,000.

Musk has talked about cutting prices once inflation subsides. He, too, previously talked about a cheaper $25,000 Tesla electric car, but has put the project on the back burner in favor of other programs at Tesla.

At times, the CEO also said that he is not sure a cheaper Tesla model is needed with the advent of autonomous driving, resulting in the cheapest form of transportation being a large fleet of EV-powered transportation. autonomous.

Tesla recently announced plans to build its own dedicated robotaxi vehicle for the service.

Now, at the invite-only Goldman Sachs tech conference in San Francisco yesterday, Martin Viecha, Tesla’s head of investor relations, gave a presentation about the company in which he outlined what to expect from Tesla in the next five years.

According to a third-party account of the presentation published by Business InsiderViecha reiterated plans for a cheaper vehicle and an overall cheaper offering before the robotaxi service:

When asked about the possibility of Tesla making a cheaper EV, Viecha said the company ultimately wants a more affordable vehicle on the road. If a company wants to be a high-volume automaker, it needs a broad portfolio, and Tesla needs a cheaper offering before its company-operated robotaxi service comes out, he explained.

The executive did not elaborate on the timing beyond saying that he would come before the robotaxi service, which has been delayed several times.

To update: Viecha has now clarified his comment saying that he did not say anything about before the robotaxi, which he says will arrive in 2024

Viecha also said that he believes the Model Y will become the best-selling vehicle of all time next year:

The Model Y is basically going to become the best-selling vehicle of all time in the world next year.

The executive noted that Tesla has yet to activate some vehicle demand triggers, including an emphasis on leasing.

While price is one metric, Viecha told investors the cost of building electric cars is the most important metric to track. Despite the price increase, Viexha noted that Tesla’s cost per car has gone from $84,000 in 2017 to $36,000 per vehicle in recent quarters.

He believes there is still room for improvement and hinted that Tesla’s robotaxi could bring some of those improvements in the form of a next-generation platform, which would be Tesla’s third after the Model S/X was the first and the Model 3/And it was the second of Tesla. – generation platform.

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