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Trevor Collett | Jul, 02 2014 | 1 Comment

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.

Mr Porritt said Tesla’s new 'Gigafactory' will help to lower the cost of battery production, which could also result in lower prices for the Model S and the coming Model X SUV.

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”.

Nissan Leaf
Nissan Leaf

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.

MORE: Tesla news and reviews

Tesla Model X
Tesla Model X

 
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