Tesla’s new entry-level Model E electric vehicle will reportedly wear a “realistic” price tag when it arrives in showrooms in 2016.
According to the UK’s Autocar, Tesla’s Chris Porritt said this week that the Model E will be priced competitively against Germany's ‘big three’ luxury midsizers; the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class.
The Tesla Vice-President added that the Model E would be made from “appropriate materials”, rather than using the all-aluminium arrangement of the larger Model S.
And while clear details on the new midsized sedan are still to come, Porritt added that the Model E will be around 20 percent smaller than the S.
“I expect there will be very little carry-over,” Mr Porritt said. “We’ve got to be cost-effective; we can’t use aluminium for all the [Model E’s] components.”
Mr Porritt was a key figure in preparing a case for the Model S sedan's launch in right-hand-drive markets - including Australia, where the EV can now be ordered with prices starting from around $97,245 drive-away.
On the subject of Tesla’s electric rivals, Porritt said the “different-ness” of cars like the Nissan Leaf worked against them, declaring “if you get the car right (in terms of styling), it doesn’t matter that it’s electric”.
As for pricing...
A BMW 3 Series sedan in the UK is priced from around £23,550 (AU$42,552) plus on-roads, while Australian prices start from $52,800.
TMR compared the Model S’s Australian pricing structure to rivals from Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Lexus and Infiniti, finding the S to be competitively priced on the basics.
When the Model E hits Australian showrooms, buyers might benefit from a similar pricing scheme to the S, with Tesla undercutting BMW’s local 3 Series starting price.
The Model X SUV is expected to launch in 2015 while the Model E should follow sometime in 2016. Neither model has been confirmed for Australia at this stage.
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