Tesla’s coming Model X won’t be the all-electric brand’s only SUV, the company’s Chief Technical Officer has revealed.
Reports of a smaller SUV model in the Tesla family reach back to at least 2012, but it wasn’t until last year’s announcement of the new midsized Model 3 sedan that the crystal ball began to clear.
This week, Tesla executive JB Straubel has revealed to press at the EIA Energy Conference in Washington DC that the Model 3 will share its platform - and possibly its name - with a new midsized SUV.
Together with the larger Model X SUV and the Model S sedan, the two new models will see Tesla’s line-up to grow to at least four cars.
Details on the second new SUV are still to come, but, with the Model X due in the next few months and the Model 3 sedan to debut next year, we might expect to see a ‘Model 3 X’ appear closer to 2018.
Straubel added that Tesla expects to be selling 500,000 vehicles annually by 2020.
Here in 2015, Tesla’s most recent sales report claims 10,030 sales in the first quarter of the year, suggesting a target of around 40,000 for the year. Sales of the Model X, however, will likely push the 2015 result even further.
To help get it to half-a-million sales per year, Tesla has already revealed details of its coming ‘Gigafactory’ battery facility in Nevada, and it recently acquired a pair of 40,000 and 46,000sqm facilities in California - the latter having once been used by the now bankrupt Solyndra to produce sollar cells.
Both sites will be used to dramatically increase the company’s manufacturing capacity, while the Gigafactory will supply - and reduce the per-unit cost of - the battery technologies needed.